On June 25th, the Organisation Intersex International Australia (OII Austrialia) announced on its website: “For the first time in Australia, and for the first time internationally, intersex people are recognised fully and authentically in anti-discrimination legislation.”

On this day, the Australian Parliament voted into the law the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013.

According to OII Australia, “the act includes:

  • New attributes protecting people on grounds of intersex status and gender identity that are of immediate relevance to intersex people, as well as the ground of sexual orientation. Intersex people, trans people, lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and queer people are all protected.
  • Recognition that intersex has a biological basis.
  • Protection for all intersex people, regardless of our gender identities.
  • The intention of no substantive religious exemptions applicable to intersex.
  • The intention that sport exemptions will not be applied as a blanket rule, but include case by case assessment. We commented in our submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Sex Discrimination Amendment that more than 1 in 400 women Olympic athletes are intersex, and sports exemptions should not be used to eliminate us from competition in Australia.
  • The removal of religious exemptions on gender identity and sexual orientation grounds from aged care – something of great value to intersex people who identify as LGBT or queer.”

OII Australia played an instrumental role in passing this landmark legislation. We at AIC are grateful for their work and echo the hopes of Tony Briffa, OII Australia Board Member who comments, “This is a significant moment for intersex people around the world, and I hope other countries will follow suit.”

For more information about the legislation, check out the OII Australia’s extensive coverage here.