The Sex Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their intersex status. There are some limited exemptions.

Intersex status discrimination happens when a person is treated less favourably than another person in a similar situation because that person has physical, hormonal or genetic features that are:

  • neither wholly female nor wholly male, or
  • a combination of female and male, or
  • neither female nor male.

Discrimination can also happen when a policy applies to everyone but disadvantages a person because of their intersex status and the policy is not reasonable.

Example: A physiotherapist refuses to treat an intersex person because the person’s biological characteristics make the physiotherapist uncomfortable.

Example: A policy that says that certain medical treatments, such as treatment for ovarian cancer, is only appropriate for women may disadvantage an intersex man who has male and female sex characteristics.