Forty years ago this month the then New South Wales premier, Neville Wran, introduced amendments to the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of homosexuality.
This was groundbreaking, nation-leading law reform. It preceded decriminalisation of homosexuality by 18 months, making it unlawful to discriminate against gay men in employment, housing and public education, even while they could be prosecuted for consensual sex in private.
Sadly, the adjectives “groundbreaking” and “nation-leading” have not applied to NSW’s anti-discrimination legislation for decades, and certainly not this century. Nowhere is this more apparent than in relation to discrimination protections offered to, or in many cases denied to, the LGBTQ+ community.