Anti-Discrimination NSW

Discrimination and vilification laws continue to apply in NSW during the marriage equality debate

Published: 24 August 2017

In the run-up to the Federal Government’s postal vote on same-sex marriage, people in NSW are reminded that debate on this important issue should be civil, respectful and, importantly, lawful.

The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 allows for respectful discussion and debate of matters in the public interest, and members of the NSW community should be aware of their rights and responsibilities under the law.
Discussion and debate about matters in the public interest must be done reasonably and in good faith, or risk breaching laws designed to protect the people of NSW from vilification on the ground of their homosexuality.
Vilification, (or hate speech) includes saying, publishing, broadcasting or displaying things that incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of people on the ground of homosexuality. It does not restrict discussion or debate that is done reasonably and in good faith, nor does it limit fair reports of acts done by others.

More information on Vilification

For more information: 

Information about rights and responsibilities under discrimination and vilification laws in NSW and, in particular sections:
  • 49ZS of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 
  • 49ZT of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 
We encourage people to give us a call on our Enquiry line on (02) 92685544 or 1800670812.