New vilification protections in the ACT

Recent amendments to the Discrimination Act 1991, now mean it is unlawful to vilify someone in the ACT because of their religious conviction or disability.

This builds on existing protections against vilification on the grounds of race, sexuality, gender identity and HIV/AIDS status.

Vilification is something done in public that incites one or more of the following:

  • hatred
  • revulsion
  • serious contempt
  • severe ridicule

of a person or group of people because of their:

  • race
  • religion
  • disability
  • sexuality
  • gender identity
  • HIV/AIDS status

Examples of vilification include:

  • posting on social media about members of a particular religion in a way that encourages others to hate or be violent towards them
  • publishing a cartoon in a newspaper that severely ridicules people with a disability
  • wearing a t-shirt or displaying a sticker that encourages using violence against people who belong to a particular race
  • displaying a poster in the workplace that incites revulsion against people living with HIV
  • posting an article on a website that incites hatred against people because of their gender identity

It is not unlawful vilification if an act is done reasonably and honestly, for academic, artistic, scientific or research purposes or for other purposes in the public interest (including discussion, debate, or fair reporting).

You can find out more about vilification protections in the ACT by calling the Human Rights Commission on 6205 2222 or emailing us.