Human rights lawyers applaud South Australian Parliament’s steps to protect LGBTI rights

December 7, 2016 rainbow-flag

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) congratulates the South Australian Parliament for enacting four important pieces of legislation that will protect the rights of LGBTI South Australians. Today, in the last sitting week of parliament, the Legislative Council passed the following bills into law:

– The Statutes Amendment (Surrogacy Eligibility) Bill 2016

– The Adoption (Review) Amendment Bill 2016

– The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration  (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill 2016, and

– The Relationships Register Bill 2016

These laws allow LGBTI people to access assisted reproductive treatment (surrogacy) procedures, permit individuals and LGBTI couples to adopt; create a way for transgender and intersex people to register their chosen gender identity and create a way for gender and sex diverse couples to formally register their relationships.

ALHR’s LGBTI Rights Subcommittee Chair, Kathryn Cramp said, “these measures are an important step toward improving the rights of LGBTI South Australians and follow a long campaign for rights and reform in South Australia.”

“Once considered a progressive state, South Australia was singled out in the Australian Human Rights Commission 2015 Report on the rights of LGBTI Australians for failing to protect LBGTI rights. The South Australian Law Reform Institute has been investigating and calling for legislative and regulatory reform.

“When a British tourist died in January 2016, and the South Australian legislation did not allow for his husband to be listed on the death certificate, Premier Jay Weatherill promised immediate reform. ALHR is satisfied these reforms will go a long way to addressing concerns,” she said.

Despite these celebrations, ALHR remains committed to further law reform in this area.

“There is still room for reform. The ‘gay panic’ defence has not yet been abolished in South Australia and the state’s Equal Opportunity Act contains many exceptions to discrimination against LBGTI South Australians. And, of course, until the Federal Parliament takes action, all LGBTI Australians do not have equal marriage rights. ALHR continues to campaign for these rights and protections.” Ms Cramp said.

To arrange an interview or for more information, contact: Matt Mitchell 0431 980 365 or email media@alhr.org.au