Communtity Law Manual | Gender & sexuality | Discrimination based on sex, gender or sexual orientation

Discrimination based on sex, gender or sexual orientation

Overview

This manual has a whole chapter on discrimination law (see “Discrimination”). The section below highlights some information that's particularly relevant to gender and sexuality.

Discrimination because of sex, gender or sexual orientation is illegal

Human Rights Act 1993, s 21(1)(a) and s 21(1)(m)

The law says explicitly that it's illegal to discriminate against someone – to treat them worse than other people – because of their sex or their sexual orientation in key areas of life like jobs and housing.

Crown Law Opinion (2 Aug 2006) that trans people are protected against discrimination

Although the law isn't completely clear on this point, government lawyers and the Human Rights Commission say that this includes discrimination on the grounds of “sex” includes gender identity – in other words, transgender people are also protected against discrimination.

Private bodies (like shops and other businesses) and private individuals aren't allowed to discriminate against you in any of these key areas of life:

  • Jobs and employment
  • Access to public places
  • Providing goods and services
  • Housing and accommodation
  • Education.

Each of those areas has a few specific exceptions for different things. For example, it's legal to restrict shared accommodation to only one sex.

It's illegal for government departments and officials to discriminate against you because of your sex, gender or sexual orientation in any of their decisions or actions – this isn't restricted to those key areas of life listed above, like employment and housing.

Next Section | Jobs and employment
back to top
Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out LoudPress Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out LoudScreen Reader Support