Rainbow Territory media release: It’s time NT law catches up with the community

Rainbow Territory official logo small 4 x 2cm

It’s time NT law catches up with the community

Rainbow Territory supports modernising Northern Territory laws, including the Anti-Discrimination Act 1992 (NT) to remove discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) Territorians.

“The last time the Anti-Discrimination Act was updated in relation to gender and sexuality was 2003. The Territory has changed and it’s time that legislation catches up with the community. Modernising the Anti-Discrimination Act is an election commitment of the Gunner government, and we are looking forward to seeing the law changed to more comprehensively protect LGBTQI Territorians from discrimination” says Rainbow Territory member Jane Black.

Rainbow Territory member Jane Black says “the changes we are calling for are important because they will help ensure Territorians do not experience discrimination or vilification on the basis of their sexuality, gender identity or intersex status. For example, right now in the NT, a teacher who is gay can be refused a job in a religious school because of their sexuality. This is outdated and does not reflect the NT that we live in”.

Rainbow Territory calls for changes to the law to ensure that people trying to access IVF would be protected by NT Anti-Discrimination legislation. They are currently afforded no protection. “Rainbow Territory is aware of people being denied access to IVF in Darwin because of their sexuality or same sex relationship. This is totally discriminatory and unacceptable” says Rainbow Territory member Jane Black.

Rainbow Territory is also campaigning to change other NT laws and policies. The Adoption of Children Act NT currently prevents same-sex couples from adopting children. Rainbow Territory member Jane Black states “The Anti-Discrimination Act is not the only law that needs changing. We want to see an end to all discrimination against LBGTQI Territorians.”


Formed in September 2014, Rainbow Territory is an unfunded Northern Territory community group that advocate for the human rights of Northern Territorians who identify as LGBTIQ. Rainbow Territory aims to develop a safer, fairer and a more inclusive Northern Territory.

Contact: Jane Black



Facebook: rainbowterritory

Background information /references 

Re religious educational institutions

Rainbow Territory understands there is no existing law that permits NT religious educational institutions to discriminate against students who are same sex attracted or gender diverse. Rainbow Territory understands there is no change proposed to the Anti-Discrimination act relating to students.

The current Anti-Discrimination Act provides an exemption for religious educational institutions in the area of employment, see section 37(a)

Exemption – religious educational institutions

An educational authority that operates or proposes to operate an educational institution in accordance with the doctrine of a particular religion may discriminate against a person in the area of work in the institution if the discrimination:

(a)     is on the grounds of:

(i)     religious belief or activity; or

(ii)   sexuality; and

(b)     is in good faith to avoid offending the religious sensitivities of people of the particular religion.”

Previous law reform

The law substantial change in the area of gender and sexuality for the NT Anti-Discrimination Act was in 2003 through the Law Reform (Gender, Sexuality and De Facto Relationships) Act 2003 (Act No. 1, 2004). Assent Date 7 January 2003. Commenced 17 March 2004.

See also Darwin Community Legal Service Law reform research 2003

“In 2002/03, DCLS worked with 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 the majority of discriminatory provisions from NT legislation.”

Call for board members of the National LGBTI Health Alliance

Are you interested in improving the lives of LGBTI Australians? 

  • Would you like to be involved in the improvement of health and wellbeing across the lifespan of LGBTI Australians?
  • Do you have a mix of skills and experience that may benefit Australia’s National LGBTI Health organisation by contributing to their governance processes?

The National LGBTI Health Alliance is conducting a formal Board recruitment process and seeking energetic, enthusiastic and committed applicants.

All the info is here:


Rainbow Territory update

Rainbow Territory kicked off the year with, a meeting! Yes meetings are big part of our work, here is some of the output:

Developed priorities for this year: law and policy reform focusing on changes to the Anti-discrimination Act to remove all discrimination against LGBTQI peoples in the NT, changing the Adoption Act to remove existing discriminations against same sex couples, improved suicide prevention policies, implementing Safe Schools, and others.

Activity so far
– provided submission regarding 18c changes
– provided submission regarding NDIS
– looked into Rainbow Tick accreditation
– wrote to Michael Gunner re Safe Schools
– met with Natasha Fyles, Attorney General
– attended forums and meetings on mental health & suicide prevention
– developed and launched mental health & suicide prevention survey
– worked on our internal processes

Coming up
– regular meetings, new attendees welcome (check events calendar on
– community visibility & fundraising, stall at the Nightcliff Sea Breeze festival
– provide Rainbow Territory with slogans for NT specific equality and law reform badges “Queer and Here!” “CU haven’t got your rights NT” and then buy them from us

To contact Rainbow Territory please email:

You can also provide feedback to Rainbow Territory via the OUT NT website without identifying yourself

Two surveys for older LGBTI people

The National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy Review Survey, and LGBTI Older person care & housing survey

This first survey is by the Department of Health (Commonwealth) seeking feedback on the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy

This second survey was passed on by the National LGBTI Health Alliance. It is an opportunity to have a say on your thoughts about supporting the community’s  LGBTI Older Person with care and housing.

You do no have to be LGBTI or needing aged care to take the survey.

Rainbow Territory at Seabreeze festival 6 May

Rainbow Territory will be having a community stall at Seabreeze. It will be selling famous iced tea, a big batch of donated CDs, and books and other items to raise funds for campaigning this year. Drop by for chat or to pick up a cool drink and cool tunes.

We would love to have some help from the community to do the stall. If you want to volunteer to help person the stall please get in touch


National LGBTI Health Alliance NT roundtable

The team from the National LGBTI Health Alliance came to Darwin to talk about the National LGBTI Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Strategy. This strategy has been developed to systematically address the dramatic over-representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex people in measures of suicidality and mental ill-health.

This strategy offers a broad and practical framework that will support nation-wide efforts to reduce the high incidence of suicide, suicidality, and mental illness amongst LGBTI people.

Attendees at the forum included: Top End Health, the NT Department of Health, NTAHC, Rainbow Territory, Dr Stephen Kerry, PHN NT (Primary Health Network NT), the Mental Health Coalition NT, and others.

For more information on this strategy, please contact

Sally Morris
National MindOUT Project Coordinator
National LGBTI Health Alliance

Save the date for Fair Day: 2 Sept 2017!

SAVE THE DATE!! Alice Springs Pride Carnviale is proud to announce the 2017 Pride Carnivale Fair Day will be held on SATURDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER! There will be other things happening around that time, so keep an ear out. Better year, get in touch with the committee and volunteer to help put on a wonderful pride festival in the heart of the nation.

Alice Springs Pride Carnivale Facebook page

Darwin Pride Festival 2017

Darwin Pride Festival has kicked off its meetings for the year, and will hold the fabulous festival 21 – 30 September. It’s a great time to be involved in the festival which has been going strong for 30 years. What the Darwin Pride Festival is looking for: organising committee members, performers, support crew, volunteers, event coordinators, stage hands, and community groups who want to hold an event as part of the festival.

A call out for Expressions of Interest in participating in the Festival has gone out and all submissions need to be in by close of business Friday 28 April 2017, no exceptions.

Darwin Pride on Facebook

Got something to say about mental health & suicide prevention?

Rainbow territory is running a community survey so that LGBTQI people in the NT can have a say about:

  • what services and support you need
  • what services and support you access
  • what helps you get access to support and services
  • what stops you from accessing support and services
  • how homophobia and discrimination impacts you
  • rating the services you currently receive or access

Please complete the survey, and tell others about it. We would love to get 100 responses or more, so please share

The information will be used to inform service providers, policy makers, and government in the NT.

Submissions from NT government and Anti-Discrimination Commission

There was a Senate Committee set up to look into IF marriage equality would be brought in, should exemptions for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious bodies and organisations so that they wouldn’t have to have anything to do with same sex marriage?

Both the NT government and the NT Anti-Discimination Commission put in a submission. Here they are:

NT Anti-Discrimination submission:

Submission 102 – Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission

NT Government submission:

Submission 141

Formal terms of Reference

That a select committee to be known as the Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill be established to inquire into and report on, by 13 February 2017, the Commonwealth Government’s exposure draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill, with particular reference to:

  • the nature and effect of proposed exemptions for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious bodies and organisations, the extent to which those exemptions prevent encroachment upon religious freedoms, and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for the proposed exemptions;
  • the nature and effect of the proposed amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for it;
  • potential amendments to improve the effect of the bill and the likelihood of achieving the support of the Senate; and
  • whether there are to be any consequential amendments, and, if so, the nature and effect of those consequential amendments, and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for them.

What was the outcome? summary from the Law Council

“the committee suggests that ministers of religion, and certain religious celebrants, should be able to refuse to marry same-sex couples in line with their beliefs. Civil celebrants on the other hand are performing a secular function and so have no other proper basis for exemption.

“the committee agrees with the Law Council that ‘religious bodies’ that were not specifically established for religious purposes, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.”

“we note that the committee did not recommend exempting individuals or commercial businesses from anti-discrimination law who hold a ‘conscientious’ objection to providing goods and services for same-sex weddings.”

Rainbow Territory community survey final report 2015

Formed in September 2014, Rainbow Territory is an unfunded Northern Territory community group that advocates for the human rights of Northern Territorians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ). Rainbow Territory aims to develop a safer, fairer and a more inclusive NT.

The aim of the RT Community Survey was to learn more about the issues facing LGBTIQ Territorians. The survey was hosted by Survey Monkey and launched at the Rainbow Territory Equality Rally, NT Parliament House in Darwin on 25th November 2014. Over the subsequent months, the website was visited by 100 people.

This report consists of three sections:

1. Summary Statement. An overview of broad themes and trends.
2. Results Summary. Including graphical presentations of the main findings.
3. Result Details. This is a break-down of participants’ responses.

This report was compiled on 4th May 2015.
Rainbow Territory Community Survey Sub-Committee.

Rainbow Territory survey May 2015

Rainbow Territory Rainbow Territory Community Survey Final Report Darwin, 2015