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Everyone has the right to live free of discrimination and harassment

Everyone has the right to live their life free of discrimination and harassment, regardless of who they happen to love.

This applies whether they are at work, or studying at school or university, or when they are applying for, or living in, accommodation, or when they are buying goods or accessing services.

Discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and sometimes heterosexual people is unlawful, but unfortunately, it still happens.

The law

From a national perspective, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 makes it unlawful to treat people less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

Same-sex couples are also protected from discrimination under the definition of ‘marital or relationship status’ in the Sex Discrimination Act.

Various state and territory legislation also protects people from sexuality discrimination.

For example, in Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 prohibits sexuality discrimination and vilification.

>>  Click here to learn more about sexuality vilification

What is sexuality discrimination?

Sexuality discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably, or is somehow disadvantaged, because that person has a sexual orientation towards:

  • persons of the same sex, or
  • persons of a different sex, or
  • persons of the same sex and persons of a different sex

Sexuality means:

  • heterosexuality
  • homosexuality, or
  • bisexuality

For example:

A motel owner refuses to rent you and your partner a room for the night because he says he’s religious and “doesn’t want lesbians here”.

Or you are denied a promotion at work, despite being well qualified, because your manager believes that others might feel uncomfortable having a gay man as a boss. 

Or you are refused a family health insurance package, despite living in a stable same sex relationship while raising a child from a previous marriage.

Where can discrimination happen?

Unlawful discrimination on the basis of your sexuality can happen at work, school or university or TAFE.

It can also happen in a shop, or a cafe, or a restaurant, or when you are looking for accommodation, including renting or buying a property.

Discrimination can also happen when when you apply for credit, or insurance or a loan, or when you are dealing with tradespeople, businesses or state or local government.

How We Can Help

If you have experienced discrimination on the basis of your sexuality, our team of employment lawyers and industrial advocates at Discrimination Claims can help.

We can represent you in the Human Rights Commission or any other relevant court or tribunal.

We are specialists at negotiating significant sums of compensation for those who have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of their sexuality.

Make no mistake, we will fight for you until we achieve the outcome that you are looking for.

IMPORTANT:  If you have been dismissed from employment because of your sexuality, you only have 21 days from the date of your dismissal to make a claim, so don’t delay!

Recent articles about sexuality discrimination

>>  Gay cops subjected to drug tests accuse force of sexuality discrimination

>>  AFP officer claims discrimination for being in a same-sex relationship

>>  PM urged to protect gay kids and teachers from discrimination

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LAST UPDATED: January 2023

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