Homosexual discrimination

Information alert
Act under review

The NSW Law Reform Commission has been asked to review and report on the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW).

Anti-Discrimination NSW supports amending the grounds in the Act to include protection based on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex (or innate variations of sex characteristics).

Learn more about the Law Reform Commission’s process at lawreform.nsw.gov.au.

What is homosexual discrimination?

Homosexual discrimination is against the law. 

It is when you have been treated less favourably than somebody else because:

  • you are gay or lesbian or someone thinks you are gay or lesbian
  • you are the relative, friend or colleague of someone who is gay or lesbian.

Indirect discrimination is also against the law. This is when there is a rule or requirement that is the same for everyone but unfairly affects people who are gay or lesbian, and is not reasonable in the circumstances.

In what areas is homosexual discrimination against the law?

Homosexual discrimination is against the law in certain public places, including: 

  • workplaces, such as when you apply for a job or while you are at work
  • employment agencies, such as when you use recruitment companies
  • when you access goods and services, such as when you go shopping, do your banking or access medical services 
  • state education, such as when you apply for study and during your studies 
  • accommodation, such as when you rent accommodation
  • industrial organisations, such as membership of a union
  • qualifying bodies, such as an institute that issues qualifications
  • at registered clubs (clubs that sell alcohol or have gambling machines), such as when you try to enter or join a club.

What can I do if I experience homosexual discrimination?

If you think that you have experienced homosexual discrimination, you can try speaking to the person or organisation responsible to express how you feel. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, or if it isn’t appropriate, you can contact us to make a complaint of discrimination.

If you are unsure if you have experienced homosexual discrimination or need more information, you can contact our enquiry service. 

Complaint case studies

Sandy and Fran are a same sex couple who are using an IVF clinic to find a sperm donor.
Saj worked as a labourer in a car yard and his co-workers made fun of his sexuality.
Last updated:

09 Feb 2024

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