Fighting Discrimination Against LGBTI Australians

Every Australian has the right to live their life free from discrimination.

But for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians, discrimination remains an all-too-familiar part of life.

That is why a Shorten Labor Government will appoint a full-time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), to ensure the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians are protected, and they are free to live their lives without discrimination.

Labor’s LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner will be a new champion for the rights of LGBTI Australians, and help build a more inclusive Australia. 

The fight against discrimination continues

While much progress has been made in the fight for a fairer Australia for LGBTI Australians, that fight is far from over.

Unfortunately, LGBTI Australians continue to face discrimination in many areas of their life.

A significant number of LGBTI Australians report hiding their sexuality or gender identity in a range of situations for fear of violence or discrimination.

LGBTI Australians also continue to face a range of challenges in accessing government services as well as public participation in sport. 

We also know that LGBTI people, particularly young people, suffer from a range of mental health issues.  In its Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Rights report[1] last year, the AHRC noted:

  • Research suggests that the rate of suicide for LGBT people is 3.5 to 14 times higher than the general population.
  • LGBT people are also at a higher risk for a range of mental diagnoses.
  • LGBT people are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety.

In 2013, the former Labor Government amended the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 so that the Act would cover discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender diverse discrimination.

However, until now, these issues have been investigated by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

A New Champion for LBGTI Human Rights

Labor will appoint a permanent, dedicated full-time LGBTI Discrimination Commissioner, to ensure that the rights of LGBTI Australians have a new champion, and lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex Australians can feel safer, more secure and more included in Australian society.

Whilst Labor understands that this will not put an end to the discrimination experienced by many LGBTI Australians, having a dedicated discrimination commissioner is an important next step in the fight for a more equal Australia.

Read more detail about this policy here.

[1] 2015. Australian Human Rights Commission. Resilient Individuals: Sexual Orientation Gender Identity & Intersex Rights – National Consultation Report.