Country Details: Gay Rights and Culture in Australia

Australian LGBT Rights:

Homosexual Acts Legal? Yes

Same-sex Relationships Recognized? Yes

Same-sex Marriages Allowed? No

Same-sex Adoption Allowed? Yes

Can Gays Serve Openly in the Military? Yes, since 1992

Anti-discrimination Laws? Yes

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 “prohibits discrimination on the ground of homosexuality in a number of areas including employment, accommodation, education, the provision of goods and services, and club membership or benefits.”

However, the states of the Commonwealth of Australia also have their own laws concerning anti-discrimination legislation.  This means the degree of anti-discrimination protection varies state to state.

Legislature Concerning Gender Identity? Some

July 2009, the Australian Passport Office reviewed its policy to make it easier for those seeking a passport in their preferred gender

Cultural Points of Interest:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island indigenous cultures have the term “Sistergirl” to describe those in their communities who prefer being a different gender, mostly those wanting to be female.
  • This year’s Mardi Gras celebration was attended by photographer Spencer Tunick, well-known for his installations that include large numbers of nude participants.  While in Sydney he photographed a new piece called “The Base”.


SameSame – Australia’s #1 gay and lesbian lifestyle website.  The site hosts a huge number of forums, as well as providing news, reviews, and features on various gay community activities.

Yarns – Features stories and interviews with gay aboriginals.

Guide To Gay – A popular entertainment and lifestyle website based in Australia.  The brand also includes travel guides, and provides high quality information for visitors.

Gay Travel in Australia – Provides excellent information for travelers planning a visit to Australia.

ACON – ACON is Australia’s largest community-based gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) health and HIV/AIDS organisation.

Pride Centre – Non-profit organization that works as a community centre and social services for the LGBT community.


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