Milestone bill passed in State Parliament to help remove discrimination from SA laws
The first in a series of bills to make South Australian laws as inclusive as possible passed State Parliament this week.
The Statutes Amendment (Gender Identity and Equity) Bill 2016 changes the language used in South Australian law to remove gender bias and ensure that gender identities, including transgender and intersex, are captured in state legislation.
The Bill will also remove language in legislation that has the potential to discriminate against people based on their relationship status.
Despite the leadership that South Australia has shown in working towards a non-discriminatory society, inequalities still exist for people who do not identify as either a 'heterosexual man' or 'heterosexual woman'.
Basic human rights, such as legal recognition of relationships and raising a family, are not equally afforded to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ).
To help address this, the South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) has conducted an audit report and five extensive further reviews of South Australian laws that discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and intersex status.
This review is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Australia.
Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill
South Australia has a celebrated track record for dedication to achieving equality and fairness for all of its citizens and we want this to extend to members of the state's LGBTIQ community.
As a modern society, we have a responsibility to ensure that all people are treated equally, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or intersex status and this bill is a big step forward in helping us achieve this.
I will continue to bring bills based on the SALRI reviews to Parliament for its consideration.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister to the Premier Katrine Hildyard
This bill is important in that it speaks to our values and our commitment to include all South Australians in all aspects of community life. It also captures most of what SALRI has identified as requiring immediate action.
I am proud to stand with our Premier and publicly state that we will not allow any members of our community to feel alienated by our laws.
History shows that all progressive changes take time; the changes we are making this year are as a result of years of active community members working together to achieve results.
I pay tribute to the work of our LGBTIQ community to achieve this outcome over so many years and look forward to continuing to progress legislation that supports, empowers and includes all South Australians.