Advertisement

The Australian State of Queensland has extended its legal protections against hate crimes, updating the law by introducing stricter penalties for offences motivated by deep-seated hatred or serious contempt towards individuals based on their sexuality, gender identity, sex characteristics, race, or religion.

For the first time, the legislation now includes specific protections for non-binary and gender-diverse individuals, aligning Queensland with other Australian states regarding legal safeguards. Additionally, intersex Queenslanders are explicitly protected under the vilification law.

The amendments also criminalise the public display of certain hate symbols. These changes come as part of a broader update that refines the definition of gender identity and removes outdated and potentially offensive terminology from existing statutes.

Advertisement

Scott McDougall, Queensland’s Human Rights Commissioner, emphasised the significance of these reforms. “Vilification poses a relentless threat to the fabric of our communities, alienating Queenslanders from our shared spaces and local life,” he stated. McDougall noted that such incidents are vastly underreported and that the legislative overhaul was significantly overdue. He expressed confidence that the reforms would bolster protections not only for the LGBTQ+ community but also for the diverse religious and multicultural populations in the state.

The LGBTQ+ Legal Service in Brisbane, which provides free legal advice, welcomed the revisions. They shared on Instagram: “Although the Act has included protections against gender identity discrimination since 2002, the previous language was ambiguous and excluded non-binary individuals. These changes make the law clearer, more comprehensive, and inclusive.”

Advertisement