Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy

PRINCIPLES

1. All people have fundamental human rights and are entitled to equal protection of the law without any discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

2. Freedom of sexuality and gender identity are fundamental human rights.

3. The human rights, civil liberties and democratic freedoms of all people including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people must be supported and defended.

4. Inclusion and celebration of diversity are essential for genuine social justice and equality as is recognising the unique and valuable contribution of the diversity of LGBTIQ people and their communities.

5. People have the right to their self-identified gender, which is integral to their lived experiences as citizens and members of the community. We recognise that all people’s affirmed gender identities exist and are valid.

6. All people, including intersex people, have a right to bodily autonomy and physical integrity, and should be protected from unnecessary medical interventions until they can provide informed consent.

7. Discrimination and vilification on the basis of sex characteristics, sexuality and gender identity is a significant cause of psychological distress, mental illness and suicide.

8. The health needs of all LGBTIQ Victorians should be provided for without discrimination of any kind. Everyone has the right to have their specific health needs met with equity, dignity and respect.

9. There is a diversity of sexual orientations, sex characteristics and gender identities. Erasure (or the lack of accurate recognition) of people’s sexual orientation, sex characteristics or gender identity can be offensive, hurtful and detrimental to people’s wellbeing.

10. Society should be free of harassment, abuse, vilification, stigmatisation, discrimination, disadvantage or exploitation on the basis of the sexuality, gender identity or sex characteristics of a person or someone they are associated with.

11. Society should be free of discrimination on the basis of family formation, or the sex characteristics, sexual orientation and gender identity of parents or carers.

12. The public should be informed about the historic, continuing and endemic discrimination against LGBTIQ people and their communities.

13. Government should take full responsibility for defending the dignity, humanity and rights of all people and their families, free of any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics.

AIMS

1. All de facto relationships to have equal status in law and government policy regardless of sex, sexuality and gender identity.

2. A civil union scheme to replace the current relationship register for domestic relationships.

3. Equal access to adoption, fostering, surrogacy and assisted reproductive treatment regardless of sex characteristics, sexuality, gender identity and marital status, and equal parenting rights, for LGBTIQ parents.

4. Birth certificate laws to reflect the reality of a child’s life and to address situations where children have two mothers, two fathers and a birth mother, gender diverse parents or more than two parents.

5. The education system to provide age-appropriate, non-discriminatory information about sex characteristics, sexuality, relationships and identity, and assistance and resources for teachers to explore these issues in the classroom.

6. A full range of medical and health services to be provided in an accessible manner where required by people with needs related to their sexuality, gender identity and sex characteristics.

7. Increased funding to establish and expand gender clinics at hospitals and health services.

8. Accurate information and appropriate support services for individuals, parents and carers of young people in relation to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.

9. Accurate information and appropriate support services from the intersex community for intersex people and their parents and carers.

10. Legislative reform to prevent discrimination against people with an intersex variation and to update the definition of gender identity in anti-discrimination laws so as to be inclusive of non-binary people.

11. A simplified process that ensures that people are able to easily alter their sex on all official documents, consistent with how they live and identify, without a requirement for gender affirmation surgery or hormonal therapy, and without their past sex or gender identity being revealed.

12. Where possible, sex or gender to be removed from official documents, or a voluntary, opt-in third gender marker to be included.

13. Medical intervention for people born with an intersex variation to occur only when they are able to make the decision for themselves, unless it is determined to be in the best interest of the child concerned and necessary to avoid serious, urgent and irreparable harm.

14. Data collection that accurately and sensitively reflects the diversity of LGBTIQ people and their families.

15. Reforms to ensure that the operation of the homosexual conviction expungement scheme is accessible, fair, timely, and provides just reparation.

16. Adequate funding for services to support and protect people of diverse sexual orientation, sex characteristics and gender identities in areas such as:

  • a. drug and alcohol use;
  • b. disability and mental health;
  • c. family violence;
  • d. pregnancy including unwanted pregnancy;
  • e. harassment including sexual harassment,
  • f. rape and sexual assault,
  • g. self-harm and suicide prevention,
  • h. peer support,
  • I. coming out,
  • j. counselling,
  • k. housing services and programs,
  • l. gender transitioning and affirmation, and
  • m. HIV / AIDS testing and support.

17. Tailored support for the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ people with particular needs, such as those who are young, Aboriginal, multicultural, newly-arrived migrants, refugees and those living in rural and regional Victoria.

18. Support and funding for programs which overcome the instance of speech motivated by hate or prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics.

19. Accessible and inclusive family violence prevention programs, reporting mechanisms and support services for people with diverse sexualities, gender identities and sex characteristics and their families.

20. The abolition of discrimination in all areas of Victorian law on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics.

21. The removal of legislative exemptions that allow religious organisations to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

22. The removal of blanket anti-discrimination exemptions that allow the exclusion of people of certain sex characteristics or gender identity from competitive sporting activities.

23. The provisions of the Yogyakarta Principles on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics to be incorporated into the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and proper funding to ensure the human rights of persons of diverse sexual orientations, sex characteristics and gender identities are promoted and protected.

24. Blood-banking services to adopt the least discriminatory blood donor criteria possible, while maintaining the current low risk of transfusion-associated infection.

25. Public acknowledgement and respect for the important role and contribution of LGBTIQ people in Victorian society by all Victorian political, civic and corporate leaders.

26. Development of an LGBTIQ Honour Roll recognising outstanding LGBTIQ Victorians.

27. The expansion of LGBTIQ access, diversity and inclusion initiatives in local government, including through appropriate acknowledgment, consultation and service provision.

28. Training programmes and awareness-raising aimed at improving health, mental health, community, aged care, education, police and prison services’ knowledge of and sensitivity towards LGBTIQ people.

29. Third party reporting mechanisms for homophobic, biphobic, transphobic harassment and violence, and harassment and violence directed against intersex people.

30. So far as is reasonably practicable, protective measures to be put in place for all prisoners vulnerable to violence or abuse on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, and access provided to medical care and counselling appropriate to the needs of prisoners of diverse sexual orientation, sex characteristics and gender identity.

31. The development of workplace education, training and accreditation programs directed at achieving diversity and inclusiveness and eliminating homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and prejudice based on sex characteristics in the workplace.

32. The expansion of LGBTIQ cultural and community events, recognising and supporting the tourism associated with such events.

33. The creation and on-going funding of a Victorian Pride Centre.

34. Formal, permanent, adequately resourced liaison groups between LGBTIQ community representatives and government departments and agencies, to consult, to advise, and to develop and implement policies and programs relevant to persons of diverse sexual orientation, sex characteristics and gender identity.

35. The maintenance of an adequately funded Equality Office within the Department of Premier and Cabinet supported by a Minister, and legislative entrenchment of the Commissioner role.

36. Core recurrent funding for LGBTIQ community organisations.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Policy as amended by State Council on 30th June 2018.