The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill passes

We welcome the passing of the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2012 yesterday. This Bill, although only just passed, was the first instance of a Bill presented to an Australian parliament with a specific “intersex” attribute.

Developed several years ago with community consultation, the Bill provided a benchmark for federal legislation that the previous government acknowledged in the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013.

Writing on Facebook, the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks, writes:

‘Protection from discrimination under the Tasmanian Act has now been extended to the grounds of gender identity and intersex’, Ms Banks said. ‘This brings Tasmania into line with the recent changes to federal discrimination law. The amendments also extend the existing protection from humiliating, intimidating, ridiculing, offending or insulting conduct to the grounds of race, age, disability, sexual orientation and lawful sexual conduct. This provides greater scope to address bullying-type behaviour when it is linked to these personal characteristics’…

‘The passage of the Bill is statement from our Parliament to the people of Tasmania that discrimination against people on the basis of gender identity and intersex, and behaviour that negatively targets people because of their race, disability, age, gender identity, intersex, sexual orientation or lawful sexual activity is not acceptable in our society’, Ms Banks said.

In comparison to federal legislation, the Bill takes a very different approach to religious exemptions, although an amendment passed yesterday now enable religious schools to apply for permission to preferentially admit students of a particular religion at point of admission.

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