SAGE members including Tracie O’Keefe and Norrie May-Welby join Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and other campaigners outside the Human Rights Commission in Australia calling for an end to discrimination against sex and/or gender diverse groups of people.
SAGE was a major contributor to the consultation process held by the Australian Human Rights Commission which led to the revision of the Sex Discrimination Act to include protection against discrimination for sex and/or gender diverse groups of people.
SAGE members met with then Commissioner Graeme Innes, submitted information, a paper and were part of public meetings leading up to the change.
The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013 (Cth) (SDA Amendment Act) meant that all sex and/or gender diverse groups of people are protected under the Act, without having to specifically state what their gender is or is not.
Some people’s sex and/or gender might be fluid which means it may be impossible for them to identify as male or female or their sex and gender might fluctuate. The changes to the Act meant that such people are no longer legally considered second-class citizens.
The Australian Human Rights Commission states on its website
“The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (SDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.”
Since the Sex discrimination Act is federal law, it supersedes state laws that were still discriminating against sex and gender diverse groups of people.
The new protection afforded sex and/or gender diverse groups of people was a major tenet to argue the Norrie May-Welby case before the High Court of Australia, allowing Norrie to be register as sex non-specific.
In campaigning for marriage equality, the Sex Discrimination Act clearly indicated that people not legally identified as male or female were being discriminated against because they were unable to marry and form a family.
Under the United Nations’ treaty on human rights, all citizens of countries should have the right to marry and form a family.