Equal opportunity law reform (SA)

We want to see strong anti-discrimination laws that better protect LGBTIQA+ people, including by removing religious exemptions

Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984, organisations established for religious purposes have wide exceptions allowing them to discriminate on the basis of sex, or against LGBTIQA+ staff and clients.

The South Australian Government has undertaken a review of these provisions over a number of years. Below are SARAA’s submissions on this issue.

Draft Equal Opportunity (Religious Bodies) Amendment Bill 2020

In November 2020, the South Australian government released a draft Bill proposing to make it clear that some essential service providers cannot rely on exceptions for bodies ‘established for religious purposes’ under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. This would mean that it is unlawful for the providers to engage in prohibited discrimination because of their organisation’s religious beliefs or values when providing these services.

SARAA broadly supports the intent of the Bill, but believe the reforms should go further to protect LGBTIQA+ South Australians
from discrimination. Read our submission on the Bill here.

SALRI’s Review of Exceptions to Equal Opportunity Law

In February 2016, the South Australian Law Reform Institute’s (SALRI) identified the laws and regulations in South Australia that discriminate against individuals and families on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or intersex status and set out options for reform.

You can read SARAA’s Submission Submission to the South Australian Law Reform Institute on the Equal Opportunity Act Review here.

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