Independent Sydney MP, Alex Greenwich, announced his Equality Bill this morning. 

The omnibus bill would amend and update NSW’s laws in order to “remove all discrimination against LGBTIQA+.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the bill would “seek to ban gay conversion therapy, allow people to transition without surgery and enact other reforms to deal with discrimination.”

Would Update Laws and Create Minister for Equality

The bill would work to end discrimination of LGBTQI teachers and students and put a stop to “so-called ‘normalising’ surgeries on intersex people without their consent, either at birth or later in life.”

It would also create a Minister for Equality position in the NSW cabinet.

Greenwich hopes the bill would be ready in time for the NSW State Election and WorldPride 2023.

“The Equality Bill will be ready in time for both Sydney WorldPride, when the whole world is watching, and also the next state election,” he said.

“Should we be in a minority government situation following the 2023 state election, the major parties’ approach to this bill will be critical in my decision-making.”

‘An Important and Watershed Moment for NSW’

Jack Whitney, Convenor of The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL), said “the omnibus bill ensures equal rights for all of us. The proposed bill is an important and watershed moment for NSW. It will bring us in line with modern anti-discrimination legislation and protections for all people.

“NSW hasn’t had meaningful reform in respect to anti-discrimination for a long time. We are fast becoming the laughing stock of Australia and the world. Our Anti-Discrimination Act is very outdated and needs reform, we need a Human Rights Act in NSW, New Zealand last month banned Conversion Therapy and we need it here too,” he continued.

Whitney said the GLRL hopes to use the bill to advocate for various reforms, particularly in relation to its “Gay is Not a Blood Type” campaign that aims to repeal the ban on gay men donating blood. 

Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown believes having a Minister for Equality is incredibly important.

In an interview with Sydney Morning Herald, she said, “Just as we have ministers for other populations, LGBTIQ+ people needed a dedicated point of contact to ensure that our unique needs and disparities in health and wellbeing are addressed by government.”

Draft legislation for the Greenwich Equality Bill will be released by the end of the year. The bill is currently under consultation till July 1.

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