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Australia: harassed on the basis of transexuality
Court has interpreted discrimination in accommodation to include any act of discrimination which makes it harder for someone to live where they do, including harassment by neighbours.
ANZAPI (Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands)
TASMANIAN GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS GROUP
Wednesday June 30th 2004
TAS ANTI-BIAS DECISION SETS NATIONAL BENCHMARK
Tasmanian LGBT activists have applauded a state Supreme Court decision which they say sets a new national legal precedent.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said that the Court has interpreted discrimination in accommodation to include any act of discrimination which makes it harder for someone to live where they do, including harassment by neighbours.
"Traditionally discrimination in accommodation has been confined to
bias by landlords against tenants, so this decision will dramatically expand the scope of anti-discrimination law", Mr Croome said.
The finding, by Justice Alan Blow, was part of his decision in a case brought by a Hobart transgender woman, Roz Houston.
Ms Houston complained to the Tasmanian Anti-discrimination Commission of harassment by neighbours on the basis of her transsexuality
When the Commission upheld her complaint Ms Houston's neighbours appealed to the Supreme Court.
After finding against Ms Houston's neighbours, Justice Blow awarded her $4000 damages.
Mr Croome said that Ms Houston deserves much more than $4000 for successfully defending her basic human rights.
"She deserves the respect and gratitude of all Australians who hold human rights dear", he said.
Justice Blow's decision
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.