Friday, 22 June 2018

NSW has strengthened it's anti-vilification laws protecting minorities

This would likely be illegal under NSW's new laws
New South Wales has significantly strengthened anti-vilification laws here, and they now cover all LGBT people. Including those of us with HIV. Some of the hatred directed at us during last year's postal survey would now be illegal in NSW.

There's also a push to remove the right of religion to discriminate against gay people.

The new legislation will create a new offence in the Crimes Act of publicly threatening or inciting violence against people on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics or HIV/AIDS status, including a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of $11,000.

 This means that any form of communication or conduct observable by the public, as well as the distribution or dissemination of any matter, will become illegal if it vilifies those groups.

 NSW GLRL [NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby] said they are encouraged by the new reforms and congratulated the Attorney General on progressing the work.

 The group called it a welcomed step in the right direction for many communities in New South Wales, and noted that the legislation will now provide protection for bisexual people and people with intersex variations, bringing the state into line with the Commonwealth and other states and territories.

 However, they said that exemptions relating to discriminatory acts that are permitted or necessitated by legislation still remain in the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

 “NSW GLRL believes that the groundswell of support is moving in the direction of removing the last bastion of remaining discriminations against LGBTI Australians in New South Wales,” said Foy.

“We also note the hurtful, vitriolic debate regarding the survey on changes to the Marriage Act (Cth), the contributions of some religious bodies to the No debate, and the negative impact that this debate had on LGBTI Australians living in New South Wales.

 “NSW GLRL support the proposal to hold all people, including religious bodies, more accountable for their actions and the effect that their actions have on LGBTI people living in New South Wales. Star Observer