Breaking news from Sydney World Pride: The ACT will pass legislation to protect people with innate variations of sex characteristics

Splash graphic with Sydney World Pride logo

The Chief Minister of the ACT has today announced that a government bill to protect people with innate variations of sex characteristics will be introduced in the ACT Parliament later this month. This bill will protect the autonomy of minors, and adults under guardianship, by criminalising certain medical interventions that fall outside the scope of a treatment plan. As well as providing an unprecedented level of scrutiny and transparency, the bill forms part of a package that also makes provisions for funded psychosocial support, and the establishment of a clinical Variations in Sex Characteristics team.

Morgan Carpenter, executive director, comments:

“We offer our heartfelt congratulations to the ACT government for taking this crucial and long-awaited step! We would like to thank the Chief Minister and his staff for their longstanding engagement with us, and with other stakeholders. The ACT government has always maintained a strong focus on ensuring the health and human rights of people with innate variations of sex characteristics, and this legislation will ensure that medical treatment meets fundamental human rights norms.”

“Today we are filled with relief and excitement. We have been calling for such legislation since IHRA was established, alongside with other reforms to promote access to peer and psychosocial support. UN Treaty Bodies, the Australian Human Rights institutions and community institutions have joined us in our call.”

The Chief Minister has also issued a challenge to other Australian jurisdictions to introduce similar protections, and generously offered to share their work in a spirit of collaboration, and intended to ensure nationally consistent protections.

Gabriel Filpi, Senior Projects Officer (Health) , says.

“We welcome the announcement and commitment to legislation to protect the vulnerable in our community as a milestone in the advancement of intersex human rights, for the ACT, and we hope, eventually across Australia”

Cody Smith, Communications and Training Officer, says

“The impact of this announcement has been immediate and profound. I was born in the ACT and harmed in the ACT. I grew up in the ACT, and have so far spent my entire professional life in the ACT dedicated to this cause. What has felt like an impossible dream has been made tangible today. The work must continue to protect people like me across Australia.”