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Sexuality discrimination is treating people unfairly because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight. It also includes making assumptions about someone’s sexuality.


IDAHOT 2015 – Sunday 17 May to Monday 18 May

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) was created in 2004 to celebrate sexual and gender diversities. IDAHOT is also a good time to reflect on the inclusiveness, or otherwise, of our workplaces, schools, sporting clubs and our community in general. 


This Saturday, 17th May is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT).

This day is a Global Day to celebrate sexual and gender diversities and also a good time to reflect on the inclusiveness, or otherwise, of our workplaces, schools, sporting clubs and our community in general.

Jokes in the workplace

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Aired on: 
Radio Adelaide

Equal Opportunity Commission staff member Ian Law interviewed by Mike Stock about crude and offensive jokes in workplace, including work emails”

Public transport passenger called a 'poofter'

Rudy found that his public transport ticket was not working.  He took it to an inspector, Ian, who yelled and spoke to Rudy as if he was doing something wrong.  Rudy reported it to the transport company, and as a result he received an apology.  However, he came across Ian on the same service a few days later and he called Rudy a "poofter".

At conciliation, Rudy accepted the apology and the settlement proposed put forward by the company, which was that they would provide copies of relevant policies to Rudy, to investigate the allegations of Ian's misconduct in accordance with its disciplinary procedure, to review its complaint procedures and the timeliness of its response to complaints, to complete harassment and bullying training for all staff, to provide an outline of the training to the complainant, to review and monitor behaviour in the workplace, to send Rudy twelve concession tickets allowing travel before 9 am, and six concession multi-trip tickets allowing travel between 9am and 3pm and to pay Rudy $1,000.

Threatened in own home because of sexuality

Mike and Greg lived together in an Adelaide suburb.  Their property was assessed by the local council for installation of a new driveway.

At conciliation, the Council agreed to provide all contract workers with written information about their responsibilities regarding discrimination, that all people requesting a copy of council policy will receive one free of charge and a made a commitment to ensure that their staff are aware of their discrimination policy. A payment of $500 each was made to Mark and Greg for injury to feeling.

Sexuality slurs - 'dry humour' or discrimination?


Kym worked in a metropolitan radio station.  He was being bullied at work about being gay, and it was affecting his health, causing depression, and suicidal feelings. He raised the issue with his manager and asked for action to be taken. 

Kym reached a private settlement with the station, negotiated independently of the Commission after the conciliation conference.

Cleaners dismissed because of their sexuality


Harry and Felix were dismissed from their cleaning job, and they felt it was because they are a gay couple.  The couple allege that their employer, Stephen, regularly brought up the topic of their sexuality in work conversations, then reduced their hours and told them they wouldn't be given older people's houses to clean.  They were told by another employee that Stephen did not want "people like them" registered with their company.

The men made a complaint of sexuality to the Commission.

At conciliation, Stephen agreed to pay $350 to Harry and Felix for loss of income, and an undertaking that he train his employees.

Factory worker harassed and humiliated about perceived sexuality


Nathan started a new job at a medium-sized factory in the suburbs.  A work colleague, Jed, called him "Gay boy" several times.  Jed also wrote, "I'm a gay boy xxxx" on the wall in Nathan's work booth.

Nathan spoke to his supervisor, who told him Jed had already been warned "plenty of times".  Jed continued to harass and humiliate Nathan, who finally decided to leave the factory and to make a complaint.

At conciliation, the company apologised to Nathan and paid him $350 for injury to feelings and economic loss.

International Day against Homophobia

Speaking about Silence - Homophobia in the Sports World

 - Kylie O’Connell, Acting Commissioner for Equal Opportunity

State of discrimination complaints

The 2008-09 Equal Opportunity Commission Annual Report was tabled in parliament on 27th October 2009.

Local media published information from our report, and The Advertiser interviewed Commissioner Linda Matthews on the subject of discrimination cases.

280 complaints were received in the last financial year, showing an increase in sexual harassment as well as disability and sexuality discrimination.

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