Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2987 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I look forward to working with Ms Dundas, Ms Tucker-who I know has a record in this area which is enviable-and the opposition to ensure that we get a good result for the territory's gay and lesbian community. But we have to get the reforms right. A haphazard or rushed approach will help no-one. We must take the community with us on this journey to right the wrongs of the past, to put an end to discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. Motions of this type are a good way to continue the path that Labor has set.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (5.02): Mr Speaker, I am happy to use the opportunity of Ms Dundas' motion to provide the Assembly with an update on the work the government has been doing.

As members are aware, I have announced in this place on a couple of occasions over the last five or six months that the government was committed to implementing its policy commitment to introducing amendments to ACT laws to eliminate legislative discrimination against gays and lesbians. Indeed, I have advised the Assembly that I have instructed my department to work on a review of all ACT legislation and to develop a policy proposal to address any discriminatory application of that legislation to gays and lesbians. That is a major task. It is a major piece of work the department has undertaken-to review every single piece of legislation on the ACT statute book and to identify provisions within each and every single piece of legislation in the ACT which on its face or otherwise discriminates against gay or lesbian people or transgender and intersex persons.

I am very pleased that officers from the department have completed a preliminary survey of all legislation. That preliminary survey has identified some 70 acts and regulations that contain provisions that potentially discriminate against gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex people and may need amending. I am happy to table a list of the legislation the department has identified. I acknowledge the enormous amount of work that has been involved in the process to date in the identification of those pieces of legislation. I present the following paper:

Discriminatory references in ACT legislation-List of legislation for possible amendment.

What has become apparent from the preliminary survey is that there are a wide variety of issues that need to be dealt with. The number of different issues means that there is no single or simple amendment that can be made to apply to all legislation. Each act and regulation needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis, and this will take some time.

Some legislation, however, raises very complex issues. The Artificial Conception Act 1985 provides for certain presumptions about parentage in relation to children born using artificial conception procedures. For example, where a married woman, with the consent of her husband, undergoes a procedure as a result of which she becomes pregnant, then her husband is conclusively presumed to be the father of any child born as a result of that pregnancy. If any of the semen used in the procedure was produced by a man other than the woman's husband, then that man is conclusively presumed not to be the father of any child born as a result of that pregnancy.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .