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New South Wales government object to including intersex in discrimination law

New South Wales government object to including intersex in discrimination law

The government of New South Wales (NSW) has objected to the inclusion of intersex in national anti-discrimination law.

A submission to the inquiry into the proposed law from the Liberal state government says ‘there has been inadequate consultation on the proposal that intersex status be a protected attribute’.

Lobby groups’ calls for intersex to be listed separately in a proposed new ant-discrimination law for Australia were heeded by the Attorney-General.

A report from the committee examining the anti-discrimination bill said that they recognize ‘that intersex individuals are often the subject of discrimination in public life, and that as such there is a need for protection on the basis of intersex status in Commonwealth anti-discrimination law’.

But despite unanimous support from LGBTI rights groups, legal experts and the committee, the NSW government submission recommends further consultation is needed before intersex can become a protected attribute.

‘Intersex people are some of the most marginalized and oppressed in our modern society. They face serious discrimination in the workplace and in their everyday lives,’ said NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann in objection to the submission.

‘The people of NSW actually celebrate diversity and want intersex people protected in the same way other groups are, but the NSW Government submission is making excuses for continued cruel discrimination.’

Plans for a new anti-discrimination law in Australia went back to the drawing board when concerns were raised about freedom of speech.

Instead the government is hoping to make progress with a new Sex Discrimination Act that will legally protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people from prejudice.

The bill, which amends the 1984 Sex Discrimination Act, is currently being examined by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. Their report is due on 17 June.