Gay and Lesbians in Australia: legal disadvantages

Essay by gobblemuncherHigh School, 11th gradeA-, August 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.0

Gay men and lesbians have been discriminated against and disadvantaged for a long period of time, mainly through harassment and unfair treatment. This has been due to many factors within the legal system and society. Gay men and lesbians has faced problems in gaining access to legal services due to discrimination, and hence have been quite unsuccessful in pursuing issues of discrimination. This has changed in recent times mainly because of the changing views that society holds, and how they have used those views to attempt to alter the law and bring about at least a small amount of equality. It has been brought about officially through introducing new legislation, and unofficially through lobby groups and a better social awareness of the gay and lesbian community. Despite these changes, gay men and lesbians are still discriminated against and disadvantaged today.

Areas in which gay men and lesbians are discriminated against and disadvantaged include employment and occupation, superannuation, compensation, leave and other entitlements, health, accommodation, age of consent laws, education, vilification and violence, taxation and social security, immigration, health and medical insurance, family law, intestacy and wills, rights due to the illness or death of a partner, choice of religion, right to marriage, Government services and the provision of goods and services.

While each area has its own more specific types of discrimination and disadvantage, one of the most common types in all areas is unfair treatment and harassment.

In employment and occupation discrimination is evident in the fact that gay men and lesbians are often refused higher duties or responsibilities and overtime. Breaches in confidentiality between employee and employer are frequent. This is also the case in health but, before breaches in confidentiality can even occur, gay men and lesbians are often refused treatment due to the fact that they...