Australia to ban homophobia in sports

A draft national Australian anti-discrimination law could see homophobic abuse in the sporting world made illegal, but churches will still be able to legally exclude anyone they want

Australia to ban homophobia in sports
20 January 2013

Homophobic taunts by spectators, anti-gay on-field sledging between players and homophobic harassment in locker rooms could all be banned soon in Australia under the government’s draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill.

The bill would bring all current national anti-discrimination protections in Australia under a single law and outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity at a national level in the country for the first time.

Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission president Gillian Triggs warned on Friday that players, coaches and spectators would all need to ensure they behaved reasonably.

‘Abuse on the sporting ground or abuse by a spectator would constitute, in an appropriate circumstance, harassment,’ Triggs told News Ltd newspapers.

‘It may be amateur, but it’s still in the public arena … If a coach were to act in a homophobic way, like abusing a player and calling him a `poofter’, and made life difficult in the change room so he’s totally demoralized, you would start to see that as either harassment or ultimately employment discrimination.’

The change would see homophobic abuse treated with the same gravity that on-field racial abuse is currently treated with in Australia.

However the Australian Government has given assurances to religious groups that their ability to legally discriminate against any person they feel is incompatible with their faiths will go unchanged.

This means that religious groups and businesses that they own such as hospitals, private schools, retirement homes and banks and insurance companies will continue to be able to fire and refuse to hire gays and lesbians and refuse to provide services to them.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Trans woman shows how 'ridiculous' bathroom bans are with urinal selfie campaign

'I’m actively showing them what it would look like if that became law and how completely ridiculous it is'
No thumbnail available

MEPs rally together for LGBT rights

President and 184 Members of the European Parliament sign pledge to uphold gay rights
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Lisa Kudrow: RuPaul, The Comeback and why gay men are ‘superior beings’

The former Friends actor offers a biological argument for gay men being ‘superhuman’, and talks about the possibility of a judging appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race for her character, Valerie Cherish
No thumbnail available

Drive-by drag queen serves Australia style

Jason Smith sent us a postcard from Sydney, and we're desperate to meet this drag queen because... SHOES!
No thumbnail available

Men and makeup: that is the question

So many men, so little idea of how to use makeup properly. Drew-Ashlyn comes to the rescue with her top tips
No thumbnail available

What has to happen now for England and Wales to get gay marriage?

British MPs have voted for gay marriage. But the next stages of the Bill may prove to be a bumpy road through the comitttee stages and the House of Lords
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay marriage group in Maine posts then removes homophobic online rant

Protect Marriage Maine: 'The basis of homosexuality is centered around anonymous sexual encounters'
No thumbnail available

Ireland won’t cut aid to Uganda over treatment of LGBTIs

Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has said it will not cut aid to Uganda over its treatment of LGBTI people despite the country’s deputy leader saying it will affect relations between the two countries