Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersex and queer people continue to experience discrimination in the Northern Territory.

While the Anti-Discrimination Act 1992 (NT) provides some protection from discrimination, the laws can be changed further to ensure that LGBTQI people can lead full and open lives, free from discrimination. Here is a brief outline of discriminatory laws affecting LGBTQI people.

NT discrimination

Adoption of Children Act 1994 (NT)

Does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

Does not allow a stepparent in a same-sex relationship to adopt the biological child of their partner.

Anti-Discrimination Act 1992 (NT)

Provides protection from discrimination on the basis of sexuality, which is defined to mean the sexual characteristics or imputed sexual characteristics of heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality.

Does not provide protection from discrimination on the basis of intersex status.

Does not provide protection from vilification on the basis of gender identity, intersex status or sexual orientation.

Provides an exemption allowing religious educational authority to discriminate against people on the basis of sexuality, where the discrimination is done “in good faith to avoid offending the religious sensitivities of people of the particular religion”.

Provides an exemption allowing assisted reproductive technology services to discriminate when providing that service.

Births, Deaths and Marriages Act 1996 (NT)

Requires a person born in the Northern Territory who wants to have their sex altered on their birth certificate to have undergone sexual reassignment surgery.

Federal discrimination

Marriage Act 1961 (Cth)

Does not permit same-sex couples to marry.

LGBTQI anti-discrimation campaigns and law reform in the NT

In 2002/03, Darwin Community Legal Service, community members and other service providers to develop a campaign promoting equality before the law for gay and lesbian Territorians. This included undertaking research and the development of submissions to government as well as community education and action. This campaign resulted in the passage of the Law Reform (Gender, Sexuality and De Facto Relationships) Bill 2003 which removed discriminatory provisions from NT legislation.

Rainbow Territory is campaigning to change discriminatory law and policies, with the overall aim of developing a safer, fairer and a more inclusive Northern Territory. To get involved or to support the campaign contact Rainbow Territory.