- We launched a High Court challenge to stop the harmful and divisive marriage equality postal survey, then campaigned for a strong Yes vote to secure marriage equality for Australia.
- We played a pivotal role in ensuring the passage of the legislation to deliver marriage equality, by resourcing MPs across party lines to vote through a fair bill without amendments aimed at winding back long-standing anti-discrimination protections.
- We intervened in the test case which removed unnecessary court involvement in transgender teenagers accessing life-saving medical treatment.
- We worked alongside local trans advocates to ensure birth certificate reforms removing discriminatory barriers to legal recognition passed in South Australia.
- We secured legislation in Victoria, NSW, the ACT, Tasmania and Queensland to erase unjust criminal records imposed on gay men for having consensual sex when homosexual conduct was illegal, and historic state apologies for the harm caused by these unjust laws of the past.
- We created an Expungement Legal Service to provide free and confidential help to people seeking to have an unjust criminal conviction for homosexual activity overturned.
- We helped our client Canon to pursue a discrimination complaint against Centrelink, which led to training for Centrelink staff and the creation of new policies that no longer discriminate against trans and gender diverse customers.
- We passionately advocated for the reform of discriminatory parenting laws in Victoria and SA, and adoption equality across all of Australia.
No one should be treated unfairly or subjected to harm and abuse because of who they are or who they love. The Human Rights Law Centre protects and promotes human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Australia and beyond.
We fight to end the deeply entrenched discrimination LGBTI people experience. We use a combination of expert legal action, advocacy, research, education, and UN engagement to:
- End discrimination in the law
- Improve legal recognition
- Provide redress for past wrongs
- Protect LGBTI people from harm
- Promote equality and respect for LGBTI people
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Survivors and LGBTQI+ legal advocacy body Equality Australia, have welcomed the recent changes to the ALP’s platform on religious “conversion therapy”, saying the shift away from a focus on criminalisation to broader strategies in partnership with affected communities will provide better long-term outcomes for LGBTQI+ survivors.
Today’s announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the religious freedom review report will be released, has prompted calls for stronger federal protections from discrimination for LGBTIQ+ people.
The Morrison Government has proposed a Bill which legal experts and LGBTI groups say would entrench unfair and outdated discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi and trans students, resulting in a stalemate with Labor and the Greens.
Anna Brown, Co-Chair of the Equality Campaign and Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the delay by the Australian Parliament is a blow to students and their parents seeking certainty ahead of the new year.
Today the NT Parliament passed new laws that are a significant step forward towards equality for LGBTI Territorians. It’s been almost a year since the Federal Government passed marriage equality. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for all Australians due to an outdated and unnecessary law that meant transgender people couldn’t change the gender on their birth certificate without being forced to divorce the person they love.
Exemptions which allow religious schools to turn away transgender students or sack gay teachers should be removed in the wake of an urgent inquiry conducted by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee.
Federal laws should be amended to protect students and staff from discrimination, the Human Rights Law Centre said today in its submission to the Senate committee reviewing laws that allow faith-based schools to discriminate against LGBTIQ people.
This week marks one year since Australians overwhelmingly voted ‘Yes’ to the question of whether LGBTI Australians can marry the person they love.
The NT Government has introduced new laws that will help heal the harm caused by discriminatory laws against LGBTI people. NT’s expungement laws, which come into effect today, and the introduction of legislation to reform outdated birth certificate laws are two steps towards achieving justice and equality for all.
In an open letter to Attorney-General Christian Porter, leading legal academics and antidiscrimination law practitioners have strongly criticised aspects of the proposed amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (SDA) designed to deal with discrimination by religious schools against LGBT students.
A major report confirms that religious conversion therapy and related practices are pervasive in many faith communities in Australia and causing real harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.
The leaked copy of the Morrison Government’s bill to protect students from discrimination has raised concerns and a push for more consultation with the community.
The Human Rights Law Centre has been working with the Equality Campaign and LGBTI community organisations to advocate for the removal of outdated exemptions from anti-discrimination laws which allow religious schools to expel LGBT students and fire LGBT teachers.
LGBTI groups, parents of trans and gender diverse children, teachers, leaders and allies are in Canberra to call on parliament to amend outdated anti-discrimination laws to ensure all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people are treated with fairness and equality.
The Western Australian Government has an historic opportunity to do away with outdated and unnecessary laws that prevent trans and gender diverse people from being recognised as who they are, according to a submission by Transfolk of WA together with the Human Rights Law Centre.
Today 47 organisations and leaders called on the Morrison Government to amend outdated anti-discrimination laws to ensure all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people are treated with fairness and equality.
Every person deserves the right to be who they are. LGBT people are not wrong or broken, and religious conversion therapies that try to ‘cure’ them are harmful.
From today transgender Victorians will be able to stay married to the person they love when they change their birth certificate to reflect who they are. The Andrews Government eliminated an anomaly in Victoria’s birth certificate laws that requires anyone wishing to change their gender to be unmarried.
Today the Sydney Morning Herald released the 20 recommendations from the Religious Freedom Review headed by Phillip Ruddock, leaving LGBTI advocates and human rights experts concerned about future discrimination for LGBTI people.
A dark chapter in Australia’s history has closed for gay, lesbian and bisexual Australians, their friends and families. Today the Western Australian Parliament joined all states and territories in passing laws to allow people charged under unjust homosexual laws to have the convictions removed from their criminal records.
The Human Rights Law Centre has launched a report calling for stronger protections from hate speech and hate crime in Victoria. End the Hate: Responding to prejudice motivated speech and violence against the LGBTI Community reveals how current laws and policies are failing to protect LGBTI people from hate crime and hate conduct and outlines how the tide can be turned with 23 recommendations for reform.
Ten faith-based family violence services have made a public pledge to provide inclusive and non-discriminatory services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) people in Victoria. Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, welcomed the pledge and its significance.
A new nationwide campaign “My ID, My Identity” is calling on states and territories to support trans and gender diverse people to be recognised as who they are. Currently in some states, people can only change the gender on their birth certificate if they are unmarried, if they’ve had invasive surgery on their reproductive organs and are over 18.
Ethan and his mum Sarah outside South Australian Parliament to support the passage of birth certificate reforms.
The Australian Government has been urged to improve its track record on women’s rights overnight by an expert UN Committee on women’s rights.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women made its criticism after a robust review earlier this month to assess Australia’s progress on ending discrimination against women.
People in Queensland who have convictions for historic consensual same-sex activity can now apply to have their criminals records removed through the LGBTI Legal Service.
The UN’s expert committee on discrimination against women has raised a series of concerns about the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer women and girls in Australia.
The Australian Government will face intense scrutiny of its treatment of women and girls in next week at the United Nations.
The Australian Government has an opportunity to play a critical role in addressing the violence and discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people face across the globe, the Human Rights Law Centre told the UN Human Rights Council today.
The Turnbull Government’s second session as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN body responsible for protecting the rights and dignity of people all over the world, will begin in Geneva tomorrow.
We need a game changer - It’s time to put power into the hands of the people, to give us the tools to hold our governments to account, writes Lee Carnie.
The public vote on marriage equality for LGBTIQ Australians was a bruising time. This anniversary comes with mixed feelings, with wounds that have only just begun to heal for some, and many more psychological scars may last a lifetime.
For too many of us in the LGBTIQ community, we know what it feels like to be mistreated because of who we are or who we love.
Most Australians probably think that now we have marriage equality, LGBTI people's rights are fully respected. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Australians said YES. The 61.6% YES margin revealed on 15 November 2017 was bigger than any federal election winner’s 2PP vote. This emphatic success is a cause for great celebration—but what happens next? What does it mean?
The debate on the consensus cross-party bill has resumed in the Senate. It is very clear that across the parliament our representatives have heard the overwhelming mandate delivered by the postal survey loudly and clearly.
Over the past month, almost 11 million Australians have responded to the postal survey, mailing in their forms on whether same-sex couples should be able to marry.If the will of the Australian people is reflected in the results, then our nation will be expecting politicians to listen, to act decisively and to get marriage equality done so we can unite around a reform that will bring our country together in a celebration of fairness and equality.
For the first time, we have a Bill that offers a real opportunity for support across the parliament and an opportunity to realise the hopes and dreams of the many lesbian and gay Australians and their families, friends and colleagues who just want to be treated equally under Australian law and marry the person they love.
While the nation's eyes have been on federal parliament bickering over the marriage equality plebiscite this week, another critical LGBTI debate began in the Victorian Legislative Assembly.
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull's announcement of a royal commission into the abuse of children in Northern Territory jails gives an insight into his instincts on human rights.
Expungement Legal Service
Contact the Expungement Legal Service
Phone: (03) 8636 4458
If you call outside office hours, please inform us if we can leave you a message and your preferred method of contact.
The Human Rights Law Centre’s Expungement Legal Service provides free and confidential legal help to anyone seeking to apply for a historical homosexual conviction to be expunged. Our team is staffed by LGBTIQ identifying lawyers and includes a volunteer lawyer with personal experience of the climate and police attitudes before the old laws were repealed.