What's going on now?
There aren't any bills currently in the South Australian Parliament.
The South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) is conducting an inquiry into the defence of provocation and specifically the 'gay panic defence' which provides a partial defence to murder on the basis that the victim made an unwanted 'homosexual advance'.
South Australia is the only state or territory in Australia which still has the gay panic defence, after Queensland passed legislation in March 2017 repealing the day panic defence.
Both major parties committed to a review of provocation laws in South Australia (including the 'gay panic defence') in the lead-up to the 2018 election, but are awaiting SALRI's second report and expert policy recommendations.
WHAT IS COMING UP?
Religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws
The South Australian Law Reform Institute has recommended that religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws be re-considered, but no Bills have been tabled in relation to these issues.
The Way Forward review
The South Australian Government sought feedback on the outcomes of the South Australian Strategy for the inclusion of LGBTIQ people between 2014 and 2016 in The Way Forward: LGBTIQ Report in February 2018. The outcome of this review has not yet been publicly released.
Religious Freedoms Inquiry
At a federal level, Phillip Ruddock is chairing a Religious Freedoms Inquiry on the human right to freedom of religion and belief in Australia. Submissions have now closed, but the report will be released in May 2018.
what HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE?
The South Australian Government has already implemented the following reforms:
This Bill came into effect as law on 8 September 2016 and removed discriminatory gendered language from almost all South Australian laws.
Any two people who are living together in a marriage or marriage-like relationship can now jointly adopt children, regardless of their sex or gender. This means same-sex couples can now adopt. Single people will also be able to adopt children in special circumstances (more info here).
All couples now have equal access to assisted reproductive treatment (e.g. IVF) and unpaid (altruistic) surrogacy in South Australia. Previously, only married heterosexual couples could access ART and IVF. Since the South Australian Government passed the law and it came into effect in March 2017, same-sex couples will be able to start a family using ART and surrogacy.
Trans, gender diverse and intersex people can now change the sex or gender identity on their birth certificate and ID reflect how they look and live their lives. The simple administrative process will not require transgender people to undergo unnecessary surgery or to divorce their husband or wife to have their true gender recognised.
You can apply to change the sex or gender identity on your birth certificate by completing this form.
All couples can now be recognised for important legal reasons, including overseas marriages of same sex couples not recognised by the federal Government, in medical emergencies, on death certificates and more (more information here).
South Australia now protects LGBTIQ people from discrimination on the basis of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and intersex status.
For more information on making a discrimination complaint, go to www.eoc.sa.gov.au.
The South Australian Government also introduced a Department of Education policy for trans and intersex students to support children and families to ensure their true name and gender are used in school. Students must also be supported by their school to use the toilets and wear the uniform of their gender. This policy has been strongly welcomed by education experts and South Australian trans advocates.
On 15 February 2017, the South Australian Legislative Council passed a motion in support of marriage equality. The motion was supported by ALP, Liberal, Greens and independent MLCs in a conscience vote with 11 votes for and 6 against. The motion puts pressure on the federal government to put marriage equality to a vote in the Commonwealth Parliament.
At a federal level, the Australian Government conducted a marriage law postal survey on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
On 7 December 2017, the Australian Parliament passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017. As of 9 January 2018, all loving adult couples were allowed to marry regardless of their gender.
On 4 December 2017, the Full Court of the Federal Court handed down the Re Kelvin decision that means that transgender teenagers can access Stage 2 hormone treatment in cases where there is no dispute, without requiring court authorisation. You can read more information on the case here and here.
state apology to lgbtiq community
Premier Jay Weatherill made a formal state apology to LGBTIQ South Australians who have been affected by discriminatory laws on Thursday 1 December 2016.
To LGBTIQ community members discriminated against in legislation, we offer you our unreserved and sincere regret and are sorry for those injustices...
When our laws discriminate against a particular group of people, it sends a message that this prejudice written into law justifies treating people differently in our day-to-day lives. Such laws do not affect only the LGBTIQ community, they diminish our society as a whole. They diminish us by saying effectively that there are certain people who deserve to be treated differently, whose relationships are worth less, whose families should not exist, who are not entitled to the same fundamental rights as their neighbour...
We should be building a safer, fairer future for the next generation of children so they never have to experience the kind of fear and harm that was a reality for people who grew up when homosexuality was a crime, and we should be ensuring that our laws apply equally, regardless of who you fall in love with, who your family is or the gender you live as.
- Premier Jay Weatherill, 1 December 2016