ACT Safe and Inclusive Schools (SAIS) Initiative, led by Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT, welcomes the changes to ACT discrimination laws which passed unanimously with cross-party support in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 27 November 2018.
The ACT’s Discrimination Act 1991 makes it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a range of protected attributes which include sex, gender identity, intersex status and sexuality. They also include age, race, disability, employment status, accommodation status, religious conviction, pregnancy, political conviction, profession, trade, occupation or calling, amongst others.
Executive Director of SHFPACT, Tim Bavinton, reflects on the first legal test of the ACT's laws establishing protest exclusion zones at abortion clinics.
ON 9 March 2018, the ACT Magistrate’s Court dismissed charges against three men for allegedly violating ACT laws establishing protest exclusion zones around medical facilities providing abortion services. The three acknowledged their longstanding opposition to abortion and their prior involvement in vigils and protests at the same site over many years.
Keen observers are likely to view the decision either with concern or welcome it, depending on how it reflects their underlying beliefs about abortion.