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.