Moving towards clarity and inclusion: the Norrie case

Members may or may not be aware that the High Court has ruled this morning that NSW laws permit the registration of a third category of sex called “non-specific” in additional to male and female.

We celebrate this decision as part of an ongoing conversation and debate about the appropriate recognition of sex, gender, and identity – in law, culture, and health care provision settings.

In recent weeks, you may also have heard about the historic discussions within the Commonwealth Parliament, where senators from each of the three main political parties spoke on intersex health issues to mark World Health Day 2014.

Awareness is growing across our communities about the important distinctions between sex, gender, and identity. This increased understanding helps health care providers to engage with the unique needs of each person and community – leading to better health care outcomes for everyone. This conversation is larger than any acronym [LGBTI] can encompass. Whilst this ruling is of particular note for gender diverse, and intersex people, it is broadly relevant to the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

The Alliance acknowledges that these discussions are often difficult and bring together raw lived experience with legal, federal, and cultural processes. We particularly acknowledge the ongoing work of organisations like OII-Australia and A Gender Agenda in this area.

As always, please feel free to contact us with your ideas or feedback. We have included some key resources at the end of this document for your reference.

Stay in touch,

Rebecca Reynolds
Executive Director
National LGBTI Health Alliance
Alliance Office: (02) 8568 1123
General non-urgent enquiries:

Resources on the Legal Decision handed down today:

From the High Court:
Members can read the summary judgement here:

For the expanded reasoning behind this judgement:

Audio Visual of the actual court proceedings:

Transcript of court proceedings:

Media release: from the Human Rights Legal Centre

Media release: from OII-Australia