Information about the Inquiry

Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013

Information about the Inquiry

On 21 March 2013 the Senate referred the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013 for inquiry and report.

The Bill seeks to amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to extend protection from discrimination to the new grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. The Bill also seeks to extend the existing ground of 'marital status' to 'marital or relationship status' to provide discrimination protection for same-sex de facto couples.

The Bill will extend certain exemptions currently contained in the Sex Discrimination Act, namely the exemptions for membership of voluntary bodies, competitive sporting activities, and religious organisations, to apply to the new grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. The exemptions relating to religious organisations will mean that otherwise discriminatory conduct on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity will be allowed for all religious organisations and for educational institutions established for religious purposes. As a result, the Bill does not seek to alter the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief in respect of the new grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Submissions should be received by 26 April 2013. The reporting date is 17 June 2013; however, the committee has agreed to table its report on 14 June 2013.

The Committee is seeking written submissions from interested individuals and organisations preferably in electronic form submitted  online or sent by email to  legcon.sen@aph.gov.au as an attached Adobe PDF or MS Word format document. The email must include full postal address and contact details.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to:

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Notes to help you prepare your submission are available from the website at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/wit_sub/index.htm. Alternatively, the Committee Secretariat will be able to help you with your inquiries and can be contacted on telephone +61 2 6277 3560 or facsimile +61 2 6277 5794 or by email to  legcon.sen@aph.gov.au.

Inquiries from hearing and speech impaired people should be directed to Parliament House TTY number 02 6277 7799. Adobe also provides tools at  http://access.adobe.com/ for the blind and visually impaired to access PDF documents. If you require any special arrangements to enable you to participate in the Committee's inquiry, please contact the Committee Secretariat.

Once the Committee accepts your submission, it becomes a confidential Committee document and is protected by Parliamentary Privilege. You must not release your submission without the Committee's permission. If you do, it will not be protected by Parliamentary Privilege. At some stage during the inquiry, the Committee normally makes submissions public and places them on its website. Please indicate if you want your submission to be kept confidential.


For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

Phone:+61 2 6277 3560
Fax:+61 2 6277 5794
Email:legcon.sen@aph.gov.au