South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill will apologise to the state’s sexual and gender diverse community for past discriminatory laws in parliament next month.

The gesture comes in light of a number of bills currently up for debate in the upper house that, if passed, will amend much of the offending legislation.

This includes laws that will make it easier for people to change the gender on their birth certificate and for same-sex couples to jointly adopt.

Weatherill said the apology will be important to many.

“South Australia has long been a leader in LGBTI reform and this apology is another important step forward and one that means a lot to many,” he said.

“I want to let the South Australian community know that I’m sorry for the discrimination within the state’s laws that they have experienced in the past.

“I am committed to ensuring that equality exists in our laws and the legislation that is currently before the upper house goes a long way towards achieving this.”

Four pieces of legislation will shortly be debated in the upper house.

The Births, Deaths, and Marriages amendment bill will make it easier for South Australians to change the gender on their birth certificate.

The Relationships Register bill will allow unmarried same-sex couples and same-sex couples who married overseas to have their relationships legally recognised in South Australia.

The Statutes Amendment bill will extend access to lawful surrogacy agreements to non-heterosexual couples.

And same-sex couples will be given the right to adopt a child in South Australia under changes to the Adoption Act.

The bills follow a South Australian Law Reform Institute review that identified more than 140 pieces of legislation that discriminate on the bases of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Weatherill’s apology will be delivered in state parliament on Thursday, December 1.

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