Page 5014 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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Law reform—gender issues
(Question No 315)

Mr Rattenbury asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 17 September 2009:

(1) In relation to the 2003 referral to the Department of Justice and Community Safety (JACS) of matters concerning law reform for the sex and gender diverse community, and noting the statement made during the 2006 Estimates Committee hearing by the Attorney-General that intersex people and also issues around gender change, are still on the Government’s work program and that he anticipated them dealing with that issue during this term, what was the content of the referral to JACS regarding transgender and intersex law reform in 2003.

(2) Were items from the 2002 ACT Government Consultation Paper on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people in the ACT referred to JACS for further research, such as (a) is there is a need to define sex for the purposes of ACT law; if so, should different definitions apply for different purposes, (b) does the Discrimination Act 1991 provide adequate protection from discrimination for transgender and intersex people, (c) should vilification provisions of the Discrimination Act 1991 be extended to prohibit acts of vilification against transgender and intersex people, (d) are the provisions and corresponding regulations in Part 3 and 4 of the Births Deaths and Marriages Act 1997 appropriate, (e) is it necessary to regulate normalising surgery carried out on intersex children, (f) does the ACT Government need to take better account of the specific needs of transgender and intersex people in the ACT and (g) is there a need to amend the Defence of Provocation Law – The “Tranny Panic Defence”.

(3) Were any other items referred, other than those in part (2)

(4) In relation to the items referred to in parts (2) and (3), (a) what, if any, progress has been made by JACS over the last six years on the particular issue, (b) has the Government received any advice from JACS over the last six years in relation to the issue; if so, what has the Government done, or is intending to do with the advice, (c) is the issue still on the JACS workplan and (d) what are the proposed future actions in relation to the issue, if any, and what is the timeframe for their completion.

Mr Corbell: The answers to the member’s questions are as follows:

Mr Rattenbury has asked a total of 13 questions in Questions on Notice No. 315, 316, 317 and 318. All of those questions are interrelated in that they consider transgender issues. To that end the answers to the questions raised in Question on Notice No. 315 can be found in more specific responses to other questions. The following four responses may seem more general than Mr Rattenbury anticipated, but I think he will find a complete understanding in the composite of all of the responses.


The Department’s consideration of transgender issues has occurred over an extended period of time, including both before and after the 2003 Discrimination and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People in the ACT – Government Report to the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Department has been closely involved in advising on the Government’s submissions to the estimates Committee, and discussed with the then Attorney General, the issues that should be under consideration. Transgender issues were

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