OII Australia warmly welcomes the proposed Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2012, which went through its first reading in the House of Assembly on 29 September 2012. If it passes, Tasmania will be the first place in Australia to offer legal protection to intersex people on the basis of our being intersex.
Section 4 amends Section 3 of the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 as follows:
(d) by inserting the following definition after the definition of inquiry:
intersex means the status of having physical, hormonal or genetic features that are –
(a) neither wholly female nor wholly male; or
(b) a combination of female and male; or
(c) neither female nor male;
The bill is particularly helpful as it refers to us by name, does not conflate intersex with a gender identity, and does not presuppose or require the construction of a third sex or gender classification.
We also note the following important information from notes to the second reading:
The changes include a new definition of ‘gender identity’… [and] modern definitions of transgender and transsexual…
In a separate sex related definition ‘intersex’ has been inserted to mean a person who is born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are not wholly identifiable as male or female.
We hope that this serves as a model for other Australian states and territories, our federal government, and overseas.
Federal legislation is currently anticipated in Australia, and we hope that this definition and clearly articulated inclusion will be matched in proposed federal legislation.
We thank our friends and allies for their efforts in helping to progress this proposed legislation.