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Everyone has the right to live their life free from discrimination

Everyone has the right to live their life free from discrimination and harassment, regardless of who they love.

This applies when they are at work, or studying at school or university, or when they apply for, or live in, accommodation.

Additionally, it also applies when they buy goods or access services.

Discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and sometimes heterosexual people is unlawful, but unfortunately, still happens too often.

What is sexuality discrimination?

Sexuality discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably, or is somehow disadvantaged, because that person has a sexual orientation towards:

  • persons of the same sex,
  • or persons of a different sex, or
  • persons of the same sex and persons of a different sex.

Sexuality means:

  • heterosexuality
  • homosexuality, or
  • bisexuality.

For example:

A motel owner refuses to rent you and your partner a room for the night because he says he’s religious and “doesn’t want lesbians here”.

Or you are denied a promotion at work, despite being well qualified, because your manager believes that others might feel uncomfortable having a gay man as a boss. 

Or you are refused a family health insurance package, despite living in a stable same sex relationship while raising a child from a previous marriage.

Where can discrimination happen?

Unlawful discrimination on the basis of your sexuality can happen at work, school or university or TAFE.

It can also happen in a shop, or a café, or a restaurant, or when you are looking for accommodation, including renting or buying a property.

Discrimination can also happen when when you apply for credit, or insurance or a loan, or when you are dealing with tradespeople, businesses or state or local government.

The law

The national Sex Discrimination Act 1984 makes it unlawful to treat people less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

Same-sex couples are also protected from discrimination under the definition of ‘marital or relationship status’ in the Sex Discrimination Act.

Various state and territory legislation also protects people from sexuality discrimination.

For example, in Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 prohibits sexuality discrimination and vilification.

How we can help

Our team of employment lawyers and industrial advocates are specialists in fighting sexuality discrimination claims.

We can represent you in the Human Rights Commission and other relevant commissions, courts and tribunals.

Human Rights Claims has a proven track record negotiating substantial compensation payouts for our clients.

We can advise you of your options moving forward and ensure you achieve the justice you are looking for.


If you are dismissed from employment because of your sexuality, you only have 21-days from the date of dismissal to file a claim, so don’t delay!

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LAST UPDATED: March 2022

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