LGBTQ+ History in WA
This list covers some of the important legal and policy reforms impacting on the LGBTQIA+ communities in Western Australia.
1990 – World Health Organisation removes homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases.
1990 - WA decriminalised homosexual sex acts between males aged 21 and over (age of consent for heterosexual people set at 16).
1997 - Giz Watson, the first openly LGBTQIA+ parliamentarian was elected to the WA Legislative Council.
1998 - Brian Grieg, Australia's first openly out LGBTQIA+ Federal Senator was elected for Western Australia.
2002 – WA equalised the age of consent to 16 for heterosexual and homosexual people.
2002 – WA repealed laws preventing “promotion of homosexual behaviour” in public policy and educational institutions, and introduced anti-discrimination laws for sexual orientation.
2002 – Same sex couples are able to legally adopt, can access assisted reproductive technology and there is legal recognition of same sex de facto unions in the family court.
2008 - WA abolishes the "gay panic defence".
2015 – WA government called on the federal parliament to have a conscience vote on same-sex marriage legislation.
2017 – Same-sex marriage is legalised in Australia.
2018 – WA allows for historical convictions of homosexual offences to be expunged.
2018 - World Health Organisation reclassifies ‘transgender’ from a mental illness to ‘gender incongruence’ as a sexual health condition.
2019 – WA repealed the requirement that transgender people must be "unmarried" for a change of sex to registered on their birth certificate.
2020 – New prison policies mean transgender prisoners in WA can now be housed in the prison that aligns with their gender identity.
There are a number of important legal reforms and protections required still in Western Australia that we hope will be added to this list in the near future. These include:
Ban on conversion practices.
Introduction of anti-discrimination laws for gender identity or expression.
Expansion of hate crime laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
Introduction of laws against LGBTQ+ vilification.
Non-binary people to be given legal recognition of their gender.
Ban on non-consensual surgery and medical procedures on intersex children.