LGBTQIA+ History in WA

  • 1971: The Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP), one of Australia's earliest gay rights activist groups, was founded.
  • 1973: The Australian Medical Association removed homosexuality from its list of illnesses and disorders.
  • 1974: The establishment of the Homosexual Counselling and Information Service of WA marked the beginning of a service that underwent name changes over the years, eventually becoming known as Living Proud.
  • 1975: Connections Nightclub opened its doors and would later become the longest-running LGBTQIA+ nightclub in the southern hemisphere.
  • 1983: The AIDS Council formed in WA following the first recorded Australian death from HIV/AIDS.
  • 1984: The Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 was passed, prohibiting discrimination based on various factors, including sex, marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status.
  • 1989: The "89ers" organized the first rights march, culminating at the steps of Parliament House.
  • 1990: WA decriminalized consensual sex between two males.
  • 1997: Giz Watson became the first openly out lesbian parliamentarian elected to the WA Legislative Council.
  • 1998: Brian Grieg made history as the first openly out LGBTQIA+ Federal Senator representing Western Australia.
  • 2002: The Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Act 2002 was passed in WA, marking the first significant legislation to protect and support the rights of LGBTIQA+ individuals in the region. This act included provisions such as equalizing the age of consent, recognizing same-sex de facto status, allowing same-sex couples to adopt, granting access to assistive reproductive technology, and prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in various areas.
  • 2008: WA abolished the gay panic defense.
  • 2011: The Federal Government passed passport legislation allowing for an 'X' gender option and permitting transgender individuals to select their gender without medical intervention.
  • 2013: The Federal Government amended the Sex Discrimination Act, making it illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people, with exemptions for religious schools and hospitals.
  • 2017: Australia voted 'yes' to legalize same-sex marriage, with 61.6% in favor, and 71.5% of the Perth Federal Electorate also voted 'yes.'
  • 2018: WA passed a bill to expunge historical homosexual convictions, and Premier Mark McGowan formally apologized to the LGBTQIA+ community for past anti-homosexuality laws.
  • 2019: The WA Legislative Council passed the Gender Reassignment Amendment Bill 2018, eliminating the requirement for a person to be single to be eligible for a gender recognition certificate. This change ended the 'forced divorce' of couples.
  • 2019: The release of WA's first LGBTQI health strategy, the WA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) Health Strategy 2019 – 2024, marked a significant step forward in addressing the health needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

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