Parliament passes LGBTIQ inclusion motion

May be an image of text that says 'SA Parliament passes LGBTIQ inclusion motion Last week Legislative Council passed a motion: -recognising IDAHOBIT -condemning ongoing LGBTIQ discrimination -opposing conversion practices committing to work toward acceptance and inclusion of LGBTIQ people. We want Parliament to translate this motion into action by removing religious exemptions from anti- discrimination laws, banning conversion practices & properly funding gender affirming healthcare. SARAA rainbow alliance'Last week SA Parliament’s Legislative Council passed a motion recognising the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Here’s a summary of the discussions and our take. Hold on – it’s a long one!

Members spoke about the death of Dr George Duncan 49 years ago which was a catalyst for LGBTIQA+ rights in South Australia, recognised advances made in recent years and acknowledged the issues still to address.


So-called “conversion practices” were acknowledged as harmful and damaging by members. Some progress has been made in this area with the Chief Psychiatrist recently making it clear that this practice is outside the scope of therapeutic practice in all SA Health state-funded public mental health services. Nevertheless, we maintain calls for a legislative ban on conversion practices in both therapeutic and non-clinical settings, including religious communities religious communities, to prevent harm, support survivors and curtail conversion ideology.


Ongoing discrimination faced by LGBTIQA+ South Australians was also condemned by members who called for changes to our Equal Opportunity Act which continues to exempt religious bodies from needing to comply with anti-discrimination protections. We appreciate that Vickie Chapman MP and the SA Government consulted on changes to address this issue in November 2020, and look forward to the Bill being brought to Parliament soon. You can read more about our thoughts on the proposed Bill here:
Members also acknowledged the need to address the:
  • vast overrepresentation of LGBTIQA+ people in suicide statistics, especially LGBTIQA+ young people and trans and gender diverse young people
  • chronic underfunding of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network‘s Gender Clinic, leading to enormous wait times for health care for our trans community members
  • discrimination faced daily by LGBTIQA+ people accessing health care
  • ongoing human rights abuses and the persecution of LGBTIQA+ people overseas.
Hon Michelle Lensink MLC, Minister for Human Services also outlined recent LGBTIQA+ advances including:
work by Human Services SA, Department for Education, South Australia, SA Health and Department for Child Protection SA to uphold the gender identity rights of children and young people that it works with
  • Department for Child Protection recently published a practice paper to assist staff when they’re supporting LGBTIQA+ children and young people in care
  • Office for Ageing Well commissioned the ‘Creating LGBTIQA+ Inclusive Aged Care Services in South Australia’ report to explore LGBTIQA+ issues in the aged-care sector and partnered with our friends at The Equality Project to develop a senior training model to raise awareness
  • LGBTIQA+ communities identified as a priority cohort in Wellbeing SA‘s strategic plan and in development of the State’s Suicide Prevention Plan
  • Department for Correctional Services SA updating their policy to provide safe places for prisoners and offenders who identify as transgender or intersex
  • South Australia Police reviewing its gay and lesbian role
  • passing laws to abolish gay panic and create an easier process for removing historical homosexual convictions from one’s criminal record
  • all State government agencies have developed Diversity and Inclusion Strategies to reflect the diverse community the public serves
  • supporting SARAA’s IDAHOBIT event and The Equality Project’s Better Together conference.


Many thanks to Ian Hunter MLC who introduced the motion and Robert Simms MLC and Hon Michelle Lensink MLC who both spoke in support of it. We call on Parliament to translate this motion into action by removing religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, banning conversion practices & properly funding gender affirming healthcare.

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