- 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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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.
Transgender people in Queensland will have the dignity of living their true lives, following a significant birth certificate reform passed by the State Parliament tonight.
New criminal offences will make it easier to charge and prosecute prejudice motivated threats or incitement of violence, under new laws tabled by New South Wales Parliament this week.
Transgender people in New South Wales will now be able to stay married to the person they love when they change the gender on their birth certificate, with the Berejiklian Government passing new laws today.
A legal defence that discriminates against gay and bisexual men may soon be repealed after South Australian Attorney-General Vickie Chapman expressed support for the removal of the so-called ‘gay panic defence’.
Transgender Victorians will now be able to stay married to the person they love when they change the gender on their birth certificate with the Andrews Government passing new laws overnight. A similar bill is being introduced in the NSW parliament today.
The Australian Government has the opportunity to ensure all Australians are treated with fairness and equality with the findings of the Religious Freedom Review presented to the Prime Minister today.
The Northern Territory Government will today deliver a formal state apology to people convicted under historic laws against homosexual acts. Chief Minister Michael Gunner will issue the apology.
As of today, Australia has adoption equality.
All adult couples have an equal right to adopt children, after the adoption equality bill which passed a month ago in the Northern Territory finally became law today.
From today, the Tasmanian Parliament will provide a way for people convicted under unjust laws against homosexual acts to have these charges removed from their criminal records.
Transgender Victorians may soon be able to stay married to the person they love when they change their birth certificate to reflect who they are. The Andrews Government is set to eliminate an anomaly in Victoria’s birth certificate laws that requires anyone wishing to change their gender to be unmarried.
Today the Northern Territory Attorney-General, Natasha Fyles, introduced a bill to allow people charged under unjust laws against homosexual acts to remove the convictions from their criminal records.
New adoption equality laws allowing same-sex couples to adopt children passed the Northern Territory parliament. Until today, the NT was the only remaining Australian state or territory that prevented same-sex and unmarried couples from adopting children. Previously, couples were required to be married for two years before they could adopt.
Today the Queensland Government introduced a bill that will allow people to stay married to the person they love when they change the gender marker on their birth certificate, removing an unnecessary and unfair hurdle preventing trans people from living their true lives.
Outdated laws allowing religious organisations to discriminate against single mothers, pregnant women or LGBTI people should be repealed, the Human Rights Law Centre today told the Religious Freedom Review’s Expert Panel.
"Last year Australians voted for equality and fairness, not new forms of discrimination. There is no price to be paid for equality, we reject outright that religious freedom is now under threat simply because two people who love each other can marry," said Anna Brown.
The Northern Territory Government has an historic opportunity to overhaul outdated discrimination laws so that all Territorians are equally respected for who they are, said the Human Rights Law Centre in its submission to the NT Department of Justice review of the Anti-Discrimination Act 2015 (NT).
This is a historic day for the LGBTI community. A day where we saw equality, fairness and love win. A day when LGBTI couples in Australia were finally treated with the same dignity and respect when it comes to who they love.
In a landmark decision today the Full Court of the Family Court has ruled that young people who experience gender dysphoria and wish to undergo hormone treatment may now be able to do so without the approval of the Family Court.
Today the Senate passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill. The Bill, to amend the Marriage Act, passed 43-12 following days of debate.
The Human Rights Law Centre has been working with the Equality Campaign and LGBTI community organisations to campaign for a Yes vote in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. There are currently two private member’s bills set to be tabled if there’s a Yes result on 15 November 2017. Find out what they mean.
(Photo credit: Roman Clarke)
“If there is a Yes result on Wednesday, Australians will have voted for true equality for all Australians – not an unfettered right to discriminate for people who voted No,” said Ms Brown.
Overnight the United Nations Human Rights Committee called on the Australian Government to improve its track record on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) rights across the country.
Today the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan will deliver a formal state apology to people convicted under unjust laws against homosexual acts.
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.
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.
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.
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.