Sex discrimination laws widened

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Sex discrimination laws widened

Discrimination on the grounds of ‘sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status’ has been outlawed by legislation passed through parliament this week.

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Discrimination on the grounds of ‘sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status’ has been outlawed by legislation passed through parliament this week.

However, the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013, was amended to allow an exemption for religious organisations when it comes to employment matters.

The legislation means that Commonwealth-funded, aged care centres run by religious organisations will not be able to discriminate against residents, but will be able to make decisions that ‘conform to the doctrines or tenets of the religion or are necessary to avoid injury to religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion’.

‘Orientation’

A second set of amendments updates terminology in other Commonwealth Acts from ‘sexual preference’ to ‘sexual orientation’.
 
While the Coalition did not support the removal of the aged-care religious exemption, it otherwise backed the Bill.

The Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the legislation provided ‘long-overdue protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people’.
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