Discrimination occurs when a person, or group of people, is treated less favourably than another person or group because of their background or certain personal characteristics.
The Queensland and Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation protects people from discrimination in education or employment because of their: gender, gender identity, age, race, sex, sexual orientation, relationship status, pregnancy, parental status, breastfeeding, family responsibilities, disability, impairment, religion, political opinion, national extraction, nationality, social origin, medical record, criminal record, trade union activity or association with, or in relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of these attributes.
Discrimination due to any of the above mentioned grounds is illegal under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld), sexual harassment and vilification on the basis of race, religion, sexuality or gender identity are also prohibited under this Act and is a criminal offence. For more information, visit the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland website.
Unlawful vilification is a public act capable of inciting hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of a person or group of persons on the ground of the race, religion, sexuality or gender identity of the person or group. Vilification includes the threat of physical harm to property or person; or inciting others to threaten physical harm to property or person (Anti-Discrimination Commission QLD).
Treating someone differently is not necessarily unlawful discrimination. An action is only considered discrimination if it occurs due to one or more of the above attributes (race, sex, age, disability, etc.). If this is not the basis of the action, it may not be considered an act of unlawful discrimination.