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SA premier makes LGBTIQ apology

AAP logoAAP 30/11/2016 Tim Dornin

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has apologised to people of sexual and gender diversity for years of discrimination, telling them "who you are is okay".

Presenting a motion to state parliament on Thursday, Mr Weatherill offered the LGBTIQ community his "unreserved and sincere regret" for the parliament's failures to deal with laws that prevented them from realising their dreams and goals.

"We are sorry for those injustices," he said.

Speaking directly to people in the parliamentary gallery and the broader LGBTIQ community, Mr Weatherill said he wanted them all to know they were a welcome part of the South Australian community.

"I want you to know that who you are is okay," he said.

"Today as premier and a member of parliament, I formally say sorry to all of you who have suffered injustices and indignities simply because of who you are."

The motion, supported by Opposition Leader Steven Marshall and passed unanimously, came as a number of bills to end discrimination make their way through the parliament.

The bills include allowing same-sex couples to adopt and access assisted reproductive technology, establish a relationship register, and making it easier for people to get a new birth certificate recognising a change of gender.

Mr Weatherill said more remained to be done and South Australia must continue to build a safer and fairer future for the next generation of children.

"We should be ensuring that our laws apply equally, regardless of who you fall in love with, who your family is, or the gender you live as," he said.

Mr Marshall said the motion was just and necessary and would help members of the LGBTIQ community enjoy a future of inclusion, "allowing them to realise all of their dreams and all of their ambitions", he said.

In particular, Mr Marshall said the criminalisation of homosexuality was a sorry chapter "that stains the pages of our state's history book".

"For far too long members of our LGBTIQ community lived in fear of persecution," he said.

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