Gaps in Qld bias law

May 15, 1991

Gaps in Qld bias law

By Nicholas Ward

BRISBANE — The Goss government appears to be hesitating over including sexual preference in its anti-discrimination legislation, announced in March.

This is despite submissions from organisations including the Legal Aid Office, Public Defenders, Human Rights Commission, Trades and Labor Council, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties and the Queensland Association for Gay and Lesbian Rights.

The proposed legislation, which would cover employment, education, housing and provision of goods and services, has also been criticised for exempting notorious discriminators including churches and the army.

The law would ban discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, race, physical or intellectual impairment, religious or political belief, age and trade union activity, but not sexual preference.

Queensland's human rights record has never been good, and gays and lesbians are often on the receiving end. Many gays and lesbians have been sacked, forced to leave or denied jobs. Denial of entry to clubs is common, and police are often reluctant to act on complaints from gays and lesbians, which leaves them with little recourse against crime and violence. n

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