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Include intersex in Bill, say lobby groups and legal experts

'Intersex' must be listed in a separate category in new Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill, Australian Senate hearing told
Gina Wilson, president of Organisation Intersex International Australia, who spoke at the Senate hearing into the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill

LGBTI rights groups and legal experts told a Senate hearing into a new Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill on Thursday that the word 'intersex' must be explicitly included as a separate category to be protected.

Organisation Intersex International Australia (OIIA), New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, the National Association of Community Legal Centres and Australian Human Rights Commission all spoke at the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee hearing.

'We think is really, really important is that intersex is a protected attribute and is not included as discrimination on the basis of gender identity,' said Gina Wilson, president of OIIA.

'Intersex people are some of the most marginalized in our community, and a bill that fails to protect them is clearly deficient,' said Dr Justin Koonin, co-convenor, NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.

Legal experts added their voices to the LGBTI rights lobby groups.

Frieda Lee, project and policy officer of the National Association of Community Legal Centres said:

'We strongly support the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as protected attributes and also welcomed the intention of the bill to protect intersex people. To achieve this goal intersex people should be defined and listed separately from gender identity.'

And Professor Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Right Commission said that they 'would very much like to see' intersex explicitly as a separately on the bill.

'I do not think it is going to be controversial, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to include explicit recognition of that category within the legislation,' said Triggs.  

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