- We passionately advocated for the reform of discriminatory parenting and adoption laws for same-sex couples in Victoria.
- We secured legislation in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory to erase unjust criminal records imposed on gay men for having consensual sex when homosexual conduct was illegal.
- 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’ve launched a High Court challenge to stop the harmful and divisive marriage equality postal survey.
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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The UN Human Rights Committee has taken aim at the Australian Government’s treatment of sexual minorities. The comments came in the same week Australia was elected to the UN Human Rights Council. Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said Australia should be concerned about its international legitimacy so soon after its appointment to the UN Human Rights Council.
During the same week that Australia is expected to be granted a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, an expert UN committee will grill the Australian Government over its own human rights record.
We welcome the Queensland Government’s important step to help people whose love was criminalised by unjust laws. It’s not only a symbolic win, it will also remove practical barriers imposed by these unfair convictions.
“With the postal vote survey proceeding right now, we have no choice but to campaign hard for a strong ‘yes’ vote. Vote ‘yes’ for dignity, vote ‘yes’ for love. It’s time to move forward, Australians are ready for marriage equality," said Anna Brown.
The postal survey on marriage equality is now underway. New laws have been put in place to try to ensure respectful debate. Here's what you need to know about how they impact you.
"With the postal vote survey now proceeding, we have no choice but to campaign hard for a strong yes vote. Australians are ready for marriage equality and the survey is an opportunity for all Australians to vote for their friends and family and our national values of fairness and equality."
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people should be able to marry the person they love. The postal plebiscite is unnecessary and is already proving divisive and harmful. LGBTI groups strongly oppose the plebiscite and so do we,” said Anna Brown.
All Australians should have the same opportunities for love, commitment and happiness. All Australians should be able to marry the person they love. This is why we're challenging the unnecessary postal plebiscite.
Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, which is representing Australian Marriage Equality and Senator Janet Rice, said the urgent challenge was necessary to test the constitutional validity of the postal plebiscite on marriage equality.
“All Australians should have the same opportunities for love, commitment and happiness. Australians don’t want more excuses or delaying tactics – we want marriage equality,” said Anna Brown
The Human Rights Law Centre will be part of a High Court challenge to the Australian Government’s divisive and unnecessary postal plebiscite. Here's why.
The Human Rights Law Centre has today filed a legal action against the Australian Government on behalf of Australian Marriage Equality and Senator Janet Rice. The action challenges the constitutional validity of the postal plebiscite on marriage equality.
Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, has today publicly released a joint opinion from top constitutional experts confirming that the Government spending money for a postal plebiscite without passing legislation would be unconstitutional.
A renewed push to legislate for marriage equality is on. “This brings hope to 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,” said Anna Brown.
Today in South Australia, landmark reforms came into effect which allow for same-sex couples married overseas to have the legal certainty and dignity of recognition under state laws.
I met Bon and his partner of 50 years, Peter de Waal in 2014 when I worked closely with the NSW LGBTI Parliamentary Working Group to pass legislation to erase historical homosexual convictions.
Recently, Bon was diagnosed with terminal cancer and it was his dying wish to have his record cleared. This year we made that happen.
Addressing the UN earlier this week in a statement to the Human Rights Council, the Human Rights Law Centre called on all UN member states to cooperate with the first United Nations independent expert tasked with combating the unacceptable violence and discrimination faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world.
Community leaders and human rights groups appeared before a parliamentary hearing today to support legislation to erase the criminal records of people convicted under unjust laws against homosexual acts and call for important improvements to be made.
"LGBTI Australians should have the same opportunities for love, commitment and happiness as everyone else. We cannot stress enough that this reform is simply about extending the right of civil marriage to all Australians,” said Anna Brown.
Rights groups applauded the Queensland Government for its apology to people convicted under unjust laws against homosexual acts. Anna brown said, "This apology from the Queensland Government is a powerful symbolic act that helps to repair the harm caused by these unjust laws and affirm the value of gay, lesbian and bisexual people’s sexuality."
As of today, same sex couples have equal access to assisted reproductive technology and unpaid surrogacy in South Australia. The last direct discrimination against LGBTIQ couples in South Australian legislation has now been removed, but federal marriage equality laws still need to be passed for same sex couples to be treated equally in Australia.
Today the South Australian Parliament has passed a law allowing equal access to assisted reproductive treatment and unpaid surrogacy for same-sex couples. This removed the last direct legal discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people from the statute books of the state.
Today new adoption equality laws came into effect in South Australia allowing same-sex couples to adopt children in the state. South Australian law previously restricted adoption to married or de facto heterosexual couples.
Same-sex couples can now jointly adopt children across Australia in every state and territory except the Northern Territory.
This week, the South Australian Legislative Council passed a motion supporting marriage equality. The motion was brought by Greens MLC Tammy Franks and supported by ALP, Liberal and independent MLCs who all had a conscience vote on the motion.
Leading national marriage equality advocacy groups Australians for Equality (A4E) & Australian Marriage Equality (AME) today welcomed the release of a consensus report from the Senate Select Committee on the Government’s Draft Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill.
The Australian Government should allow for marriage equality without introducing new carve-outs from Australia’s anti-discrimination protections, said the Human Rights Law Centre today in its submission to a senate inquiry into the Government’s exposure draft Same-Sex Marriage Bill.
The South Australian upper house has passed a suite of bills that will advance equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) South Australians. The bills proposed a range of reforms including recognizing the relationships and families of same-sex couples and improved access to birth certificates for transgender and intersex people.
Ethan realised when he was about 3 or 4 years old that, even though he didn’t know what trans was, he just didn’t feel like he was a girl. And even the support of a loving family couldn’t change the fact that he could face years of discrimination stemming from his birth certificate not reflecting his true gender.
The South Australian upper house has passed a suite of bills that will be an enormous advance towards equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) South Australians. The bills proposed a range of reforms including recognizing the relationships and families of same-sex couples and improved access to birth certificates for transgender and intersex people.
Community leaders and rights advocates have condemned the Liberal National Coalition for their role in the defeat of legislation that was set to improve access to birth certificates for trans, gender diverse and intersex people
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.
We shouldn't underestimate the human toll of the 'homosexual conduct' laws. William Leonard from Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria and HRLC's Anna Brown explain how the Victorian Government's State Apology is also about publicly acknowledging and valuing the diversity of sexual expression.
The HRLC’s Anna Brown contributed an essay on progress on the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the Oceania region to ILGA's 10th edition of its State-Sponsored Homophobia Report.
Human Rights Law Centre Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, outlines what 2015 may have in store for human rights in Australia.
There’s no question that 2014 was a big year for LGBTI equality in Victoria, but there’s still unfinished business on our wish list for 2015 writes the HRLC’s Anna Brown.
In 1977, long time gay rights activist Jamie Gardiner wrote a brief seeking expungement of homosexual convictions. Last week, he sat in Victoria’s parliament and watched it happen. Here he reflects on his decades long journey from campaigning for the decriminalization of homosexuality in the 1970’s to the challenges that reamin today.
The HRLC’s Anna Brown reports on her recent advocacy work in Geneva and the passage of the crucially important resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity by the UN Human Rights Council.
The apology by Victoria Police for their actions at the Tasty raid 20 years ago marks an historical turning point in relations between Victoria Police and the gay and lesbian community, writes the HRLC’s Anna Brown.
Legal Expungement 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.