Feast Political Wrap Up
December 11, 2020
Written by Gail Ellis from Kindred Spirits Australia
This month we saw the Gay Panic Defense finally removed from the law books of South Australia.
The ‘Gay Panic Defence’ was the defence of provocation on the basis of sexuality, which means a defendant may allege to have found the same-sex sexual advances so offensive or frightening that they were provoked into reacting aggressively and violently (murder) which could be used in a court of law to acquit the defendant of any charges.
This removal is significant in South Australian law so congratulations to everyone involved who helped make this happen.
Meanwhile the South Australian Government recently consulted with the community regarding proposed reforms to reduce discrimination against the LGBTIQ+ community in light of recent National “Religious Freedom Bill” proposals. We will have more news as it comes to hand.
In Victoria the State Parliament is currently preparing legislation to outlaw the practice of Conversion Therapy. The bill outlaws any therapy that attempts to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and empowers the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to investigate reports of conversion practices.
This is great news, however begs the question of when South Australia’s State Parliament will follow suit?
The latest update is that the legislation had the majority vote in the Lower House which means they are one step closer to removing the law.
Slightly different to SA is the “Religious Freedom Bill” also being tabled in New South Wales.
The Bill elevates religious belief above other human rights, giving special protections to religious activities that may breach laws and harm others.
The NSW Religious Discrimination Bill is being put forward by One Nation’s Mark Latham and calls for legal and open discrimination to our LGBTIQ community and especially to the Transgender community.
The Federal Parliament will sit again next year and it looks certain that the Federal Religious Freedoms Bill will likely be tabled in Parliament. There is no way that protecting one person’s rights can cause hurt to another. Discrimination cannot be made legal.
Make sure you have your say, stay tuned to https://equalityaustralia.org.au/ for all the latest developments.