The Australian government has rejected calls to provide guarantees that gay asylum seekers will not be sent back to countries where they face the death penalty. MPs from the opposition Labor Party have called on the government to introduce safeguards for LGBT people in the asylum system, many of whom have been forced to flee countries where they face torture, violence, persecution or death. However the government claims that changes to make the system less hostile towards LGBT people would lead to a risk of abuse.
Federal laws prohibit discrimination based on disability, race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin, marital status, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political opinion, family or caregiver responsibilities, pregnancy, and intersex status. An independent judiciary and a network of federal, state, and territorial equal opportunity offices... Expand
Federal laws prohibit discrimination based on disability, race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin, marital status, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political opinion, family or caregiver responsibilities, pregnancy, and intersex status. An independent judiciary and a network of federal, state, and territorial equal opportunity offices effectively enforced anti-discrimination laws.
There are no laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited by law in a wide range of areas, including in employment, housing, family law, taxes, child support, immigration, pensions, care of elderly persons, and social security.
The HRC received 16 complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation from July 2012 through June 2013. Information on resolution of the complaints was not available.
The law provides protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights ReportContract
A controversial political commentator heading for Australia says her ideas “will shock people”. Canadian Lauren Southern will tour Australia and New Zealand starting next month on a speaking tour that stops at Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland. Southern, who previously worked for Rebel Media — the same media organisation former Labor leader Mark Latham aligned himself with — calls herself an “independent journalist”. She is known as one of the torchbearers for the alt-right movement in her country and will be touring with countryman Stefan Molyneux. In a video posted on Twitter, she said she was trying to prove Islam to be a homophobic religion by provoking British Muslims with signs that overlaid Islamic symbols with LGBT pride flags.
The homicides of at least 30 gay men killed in hate crimes remain unsolved decades after they happened in Sydney, Australia. Police in New South Wales (NSW) – the state of which Sydney is capital – have uncovered at least 88 suspected hate crime murders of gay men between the 1970s and 2000. One of the most well known cases was the murder of American student Scott Johnson. An unknown person or group murdered Johnson at a popular gay beat in 1988. But police at the time ruled it as suicide. His family fought for years for the cause of death to be changed, and last year celebrated a NSW Coroner’s ruling that Johnson was in fact murdered in a homophobic hate crime.
Australian LGBTI organisations have been urged by veterans of the successful Dutch campaign for marriage equality to focus their efforts on achieving social acceptance through better gender and sexuality education. Campaigners from the Netherlands, the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001, interviewed to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Thursday, suggested marriage equality increases social acceptance, but more targeted action is needed to protect LGBTI youth.
Australia’s Northern Territory has formally apologised to gay men for a law which “criminalised love and attraction.” Those convicted under the legislation banning gay sex, which was struck down in 1983, will now be able to apply for it to be expunged from their criminal records. With Tasmania having made the same step in April, this means every Australian territory has officially apologised for outlawing gay sex. In an emotional speech, the Northern Territory’s leader, Chief Minister Michael Gunner, told the state’s 250,000 residents that its government had been guilty of “state-sanctioned discrimination.”
Around 400 students from seven schools threw water balloons filled with every colour of the rainbow against a Victorian police station yesterday to promote inclusion of LGBTI communities. The 80 metre mural was a collaboration between Merri Health and Moreland City ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, or IDAHOBIT. Dulux sponsored the paint and Bunnings and Metro Trains Melbourne and the Greater Melbourne Cemetery Trust also partnered.
Bastian Tremblay ended his rugby-playing days when a family member told him their team could not find out he was gay. He loved the sport and had grown up in a "rugby family" but felt pressured to quit because of his sexuality. The family member's comment was "the final straw". In the wake of controversy around Australian star Israel Folau's comments suggesting gay people are going to hell, Tremblay is back in sport coaching the country's newest gay and inclusive rugby team. "Everybody was really positive about it … at this stage it was just a concept. We didn't have a full squad, we didn't have uniforms, we didn't have anything. From there it just grew and grew and grew."
Australia and other Asian leaders may have missed a golden opportunity to confront Indonesia on the increasing persecution of LGBTI people there. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull held the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit over the weekend in Sydney. The summit was for ASEAN members including; Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Much of the mainstream media attention was focused on the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s growing abuse of power. But LGBTI advocates were also hopeful Turnbull would directly address the LGBT crackdown on the LGBT community with Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo.
"Gay conversion" is discredited in Australia yet "fixing" same-sex attraction remains a mission for some groups – often with tragic results. It’s been 25 years since I realised I was gay, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m questioning why. The images flickering across my computer screen have jolted me. I’m logged into a “support group” run by Living Hope Ministries, one of the most prolific proponents of gay conversion in the world. And, for a moment, they’ve gotten under my skin. “Tomboy girl, or girlie girl, she needs three things from her parents we call the three A’s,” a woman is explaining on the hour-long gender development video I’ve been sent.
A leaked document reveals the words Qantas staff are encouraged to avoid because they are not “gender appropriate”. Qantas has been accused of “overstepping the mark” after telling staff to avoid “gender inappropriate” terms such as husband, wife, mum and dad. An information package was sent out to airline employees by People and Culture group executive Lesley Grant ahead of the company’s Spirit of Inclusion month, according to The Daily Telegraph. In the booklet, staff are advised to stop using certain words that people may take offence to, particularly those in the LGBTI community.
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