Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights in Australia have advanced since the late-twentieth century to the point where LGBT people in Australia are protected from discrimination and enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals. Australia is a federation, with most laws affecting LGBT and intersex rights made by its states and territories. BetweenAustralian states and territories progressively repealed anti-homosexuality laws that had originated from the days of the British Empire.
All jurisdictions now offer expungement schemes to clear the criminal records of people charged or convicted for consensual sexual acts that are no longer illegal. Australia legalised same-sex marriage on 9 December States and territories began granting domestic partnership benefits and relationship recognition to same-sex couples from onwards, with federal law recognising same-sex couples "Homosexual rights australia time" as de facto relationships.
All jurisdictions allow both joint and stepchild same-sex adoptionwith
Homosexual rights australia time Northern Territory the last jurisdiction to pass an adoption equality law in March Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression is prohibited in every state and territory, with concurrent federal protections for sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status since 1 August Transgender rights in Australia Homosexual rights australia time amending a person's legal sex on official records such as birth certificates, although most jurisdictions require sex reassignment surgery to be undertaken first.
However, intersex rights in Australia are not fully protected, with many intersex Australians facing coercive medical interventions in childhood. Australia is recognised as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world,    with opinion polls and the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey indicating widespread popular support for same-sex marriage.
Prior to European contact, there were no known legal or social punishments for engaging in homosexual activity. Sex seems to have been a very open topic among the Indigenous people. Among the Aranda peoplesex plays were particularly ubiquitous, even among young children who would play "mothers and fathers" in a very literal sense. They would typically mimic the sex acts they saw their parents and other adults perform.
These acts seem to have been performed regardless of sex. Traditions of "boy-wives" also existed where young boys, typically 14 years of age, would serve as intimate servants of older men until they reach the age of initiation, at which point the young man would have his penis subincised. The Indigenous people did not have the typical Western view of heterosexuality and homosexuality. As part of the British EmpireAustralian colonies inherited anti-homosexuality laws such as the Buggery Act of These provisions were maintained in criminal sodomy laws passed by 19th century colonial parliaments, and subsequently by state parliaments after Federation.
Different jurisdictions gradually began to reduce the death penalty for sodomy to imprisonmentwith Victoria the last state to reduce the penalty in In Octoberformer Prime Minister John Gorton put forward a motion in the federal House of Representatives that "in the opinion of this House homosexual acts between consenting adults in private should not be subject to the criminal law".
All three major parties were given a conscience voteand the motion was passed by 64 votes to However, Gorton's motion had no legal effect as the legality of homosexuality was a matter for state and territory governments. Over a year span between andthe states and territories gradually repealed their sodomy laws as support for gay law reform grew. South Australia was the first jurisdiction to decriminalise male homosexual activity on 17 Septemberwith the Australian Capital Territory 's decriminalisation, first proposed inapproved by the Fraser Federal Government with effect from 4 November Other jurisdictions to decriminalise male homosexuality were the Northern Territory effective 4 OctoberNew South Wales 22 May and after four failed attempts Western Australia 7 December Queensland legalised male same-sex activity with effect from 19 January after the long-standing Nationals government had lost power.
Tasmania's continued refusal to repeal the offending law led the Keating Government to pass the Human Rights Sexual Conduct Act which legalised sexual activity between consenting adults throughout Australia and prohibited laws that arbitrarily interfered
Homosexual rights australia time the sexual conduct of adults in private.
In the Homosexual rights australia time of Croome v Tasmania Rodney Croome applied to the High Court of Australia to strike down the Tasmanian anti-gay law as inconsistent with federal law; after having failed to have the matter thrown out, the Tasmanian Government decriminalised homosexuality on 1 Maybecoming the final Australian jursidiction to do so.
The age of consent laws of all states and territories of Australia apply equally regardless "Homosexual rights australia time" the gender and sexual orientation of participants.
The age of consent in all states, territories and on the federal level is 16, except for Tasmania and South Australia where it is All Australian jurisdictions have passed legislation that allows men charged or convicted under historical anti-homosexuality laws to apply for expungement, which clears the charge or conviction from their criminal record, and in South Australia, Homosexual rights australia time can apply to have their convictions spent, but not expunged.
After expungement, the conviction is treated as having never occurred, with the individual not required to disclose it and the conviction not showing up on a police records check. Australian law allows the recognition of same-sex relationships in a multitude of forms, depending on the couple's wishes. Same-sex couples can marryenter into a civil union or domestic partnership in most states and territoriesor can simply live together in an unregistered de facto relationship.
Couples who enter into a civil union or domestic partnership are recognised as being in a de facto relationship for the purpose of federal law. According to the Census, there were around 46, same-sex Homosexual rights australia time in Australia. Same Entitlements  and an audit of Commonwealth legislation, inthe federal Rudd Government introduced several reforms designed to equalise treatment for same-sex couples and their families.
For instance, in relation to social security and general family law, same-sex couples were not previously recognised as a couple for social security or family assistance purposes. A person who had a same-sex de facto partner was treated as a single person.
The reforms Homosexual rights australia time that, for the first time under Australian law, same-sex couples were recognised as a couple akin to opposite-sex partners. De facto relationships also have different time eligibility requirements than marriages under laws relating
Homosexual rights australia time Centrelinkmigration, family law matters and assisted reproduction. From 1 Julyamendments to the Social Security Act meant that customers in a same-sex de facto relationship are recognised as partners for Centrelink and Family Assistance Office purposes.
All customers who are assessed as being a member of a
Homosexual rights australia time have their rate of payment calculated in the same way. "Homosexual rights australia time" same-sex marriage provided the automatic legal protections that married couples received under the law with regard to inheriting assets from their partners, same-sex couples had to take specific legal actions.
Individuals were not entitled to a partial pension after their same-sex partner's death. Gay and de facto couples who separated also did not have the same property rights as married couples under federal law and were required to use more expensive state courts, rather than the Family Court, to resolve disputes.
The plan to grant equivalent rights to gays and de factos had been up for discussion sinceand all states eventually agreed, but the change was blocked because the Howard Government insisted on excluding same-sex couples.
This reform was not part of the equality measures promised by the Government but stemmed from the agreement between the states and territories that the previous Howard Government did not fulfill. The Marriage Act defines marriage as the union of "2 people".
The Act was amended in by the Howard Government to recognise only marriages between a man and a woman. The opposition Labor Party supports same-sex marriage in its party platform, though allows its parliamentary members a conscience vote on same-sex marriage legislation. The Australian Capital Territory passed laws instituting territory-based same-sex marriage, which was rejected by the High Court of Australia.
The High Court ruled against the law on 12 December contending that only the Federal Parliament has the constitutional authority to legislate on the subject. The High Court ruled in December that the Australian Capital Territory 's same-sex marriage law was invalid, as s51 xxi grants the Commonwealth Parliament the power to legislate with regard to marriage, and the federal definition of marriage overrides any state or territory definition under s The court did find, however, that "marriage" for the purposes of s51 xxi includes same-sex marriage, thus clarifying that there is no constitutional impediment to the Commonwealth legislating for same-sex Homosexual rights australia time in the future.
The bill, titled the Marriage Amendment Definition and Religious Freedoms Billpassed the Senate by 43 votes to 12 on 29 Novemberand passed the House of Representatives on 7 December Aside from Western Australia and the Northern Territory, all other states and territories in Australia have their own state-based civil union or domestic Homosexual rights australia time laws.
Otherwise, cohabiting same-sex couples may be recognised as de facto couples for the purposes of state or territory law. Same-sex couples may enter into civil unions in the Australian Capital Territory and civil partnerships in Queensland.
Both unions allow couples to have state-sanctioned ceremonies and Queensland's law is commonly referred to as civil unions. These provide conclusive proof of the existence of the relationship, thereby gaining the same rights afforded to de facto couples under state and federal law without having to prove any further factual evidence of the relationship.
In this way, a registered relationship is similar to a registered partnership or civil union in other parts of the world. South Australia's law allowing registered relationships and recognised overseas and interstate same-sex unions went into effect on 1 August In Western Australia and the Northern Territory, same-sex couples must Homosexual rights australia time seek juridical approval to prove a de facto relationship exists.
Prior to 1 AugustAustralia did not comprehensively outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation at the federal level. However, in response to Australia's agreement to implement the principle of non-discrimination in
Homosexual rights australia time and occupation pursuant to the International Labour Organisation Convention No. If it cannot be conciliated, the Commission prepares a report to the federal Attorney-General who then tables the report in Parliament. Employment discrimination on the ground of "sexual orientation" is also rendered unlawful in the Fair Work Actallowing complaints to be made to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The Human Rights Sexual Conduct Act provided that sexual conduct involving only consenting adults 18 years or over acting in private would not be subject to arbitrary interference by law enforcement.
This applies to any law of the Commonwealth, State or Territory. In latethe Gillard Labor Government announced a review of federal anti-discrimination laws, with the aim of introducing a single equality law that would also cover sexual orientation and gender identity. From 1 Augustdiscrimination against "Homosexual rights australia time," gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people became illegal for the first time under national law. Aged care providers who are owned by religious groups will no longer be able to exclude people from aged care services based on their LGBTI or same-sex relationship status.
However, religious owned private schools and religious owned hospitals are exempt from gender identity and sexual orientation provisions  in the Sex Discrimination Amendment Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status Bill In introducing federal discrimination protections for LGBTI people, the Gillard Government promised that religious bodies would be exempt, unless they were aged care providers receiving Commonwealth funding.
In Octobervarious portions of the Ruddock Review report were leaked, which included recommendations to clarify how religious could discriminate against LGBT teachers and students. Each of the states and territories introduced their own anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTI people from discrimination before the Commonwealth did so in The first anti-discrimination protections were enacted in New South Wales by the Wran Government intwo Homosexual rights australia time before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in that state.
Historically Australian courts applied the provocation doctrine to allow the use of the "homosexual advance defence", more commonly known as the " gay panic defence ".
The first recorded use of the defence in Australia was the Victorian case of R v Murleyin which a man was acquitted of murder after killing a gay man who Homosexual rights australia time allegedly made a sexual advance towards him. Several states and territories subsequently abolished the defence of provocation altogether, including Tasmania, New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.
South Australia is the only state to retain the gay panic defence; however, it is currently under review.
However, the program faced criticism in and from social conservatives including the Australian Christian LobbyLNP politicians such as Cory BernardiGeorge Homosexual rights australia timeEric AbetzMalcolm TurnbullTony AbbottKevin Andrews and former Labor Senator Joe Bullock for indoctrinating children with " Marxist cultural relativism "  and age-inappropriate sexuality and gender concepts in schools,  while others criticised the Marxist political views of Roz Ward, a key figure in the program.
The concerns led to a review under the Turnbull Governmentwhich implemented a number of changes such as restricting the program to high schools, removing role playing activities and requiring parental consent before students take part. States and territories make laws with respect to adoption and child-rearing. Since Aprilsame-sex couples can adopt children in all jurisdictions within Australia. Commercial surrogacy is banned nationwide.
Northern Territory has no laws on surrogacy at all.