Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to prohibit certain conduct involving the vilification and incitement to hatred of people on the ground of sexuality, and for related purposes
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Introduced Senate 27 Mar 2003

Sexuality Anti-Vilification Bill 2003
First Reading

Sexuality Anti-Vilification Bill 2003
First Reading

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2002-2003

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

THE SENATE

Presented and read a first time

Sexuality Anti-Vilification Bill 2003

No. , 2003

(Senator Greig)

A Bill for an Act to prohibit certain conduct involving the vilification and incitement to hatred of people on the ground of sexuality, and for related purposes

Contents

A Bill for an Act to prohibit certain conduct involving the vilification and incitement to hatred of people on the ground of sexuality, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1 Short title
        This Act may be cited as the Sexuality Anti-Vilification Act 2002.

2 Commencement
        This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3 Objects
        The objects of this Act are:

       (a) to protect persons from arbitrary or unlawful interference with their privacy, on the basis of transgender status or sexuality; and

       (b) to protect persons from unlawful attacks on their honour and reputation because of their gender or sexuality; and

       (c) to prohibit certain conduct involving the hatred or vilification of other people on the ground of gender or sexuality.

4 Definitions
        In this Act:

public act includes:

       (a) any form of communication to the public, including speaking, writing, printing, displaying notices, broadcasting, telecasting, screening and playing of tapes or other recorded material; and

       (b) any conduct (not being a form of communication referred to in paragraph (a)) observable by the public, including actions and gestures and the wearing or display of clothing, signs, flags, emblems and insignia; and

       (c) the distribution or dissemination of any matter to the public with the knowledge that the matter promotes or expresses hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the sexuality of the person or members of the group.

5 Vilification on the ground of sexuality unlawful
        It is unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the sexuality of the person or members of the group.

6 Offence of serious sexual vilification
       (1) A person must not, by a public act, incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the sexuality of the person or members of the group by means which include:

       (a) threatening physical harm towards, or towards any property of, the person or group of persons; or

       (b) inciting others to threaten physical harm towards, or towards any property of, the person or group of persons.

7 Reasons for doing an act
        If:

       (a) an act is done for 2 or more reasons; and

       (b) one of the reasons is the gender or sexuality of a person (whether or not it is the dominant reason or a substantial reason for doing the act);

then, for the purposes of this Act, the act is taken to be done because of the person's gender or sexuality.

8 Exemptions
        Sections 5 and 6 do not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:

       (a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or

       (b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or

       (c) in making or publishing a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest.

9 Complaints
       (1) A complaint in writing alleging that a person has done an act that is unlawful by virtue of a provision of this Act may be lodged with the Human Rights Commission by a person aggrieved by the act, on that person's own behalf or on behalf of that person and another person or other persons aggrieved by the Act.

       (2) A complaint lodged in accordance with subsection (1) must be dealt with by the Human Rights Commission as if it were any other complaint over which the Commission has jurisdiction.

10 Application of the Criminal Code
        Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code applies to offences against this Act.

Note:       Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.