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These provisions were maintained in criminal sodomy laws passed by 19th century colonial parliaments, and subsequently by state parliaments after Federation.

Same-sex sexual activity between men was considered a capital crime, resulting in the execution of people convicted of sodomy.

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Different jurisdictions gradually began to reduce the death penalty for sodomy to life imprisonment, with Victoria the last to reduce the penalty in 1949.

Community debate about decriminalising homosexual activity began in the 1960s, with the first lobby groups Daughters of Bilitis, Homosexual Law Reform Society and the Campaign Against Moral Persecution formed in 19.

The age of consent laws of all states and territories of Australia apply equally regardless of the gender and sexual orientation of participants.

The age of consent in all states, territories and on the federal level is 16, except for Tasmania and South Australia where it is 17.

Over a 22-year span between 19, the states and territories gradually repealed their sodomy laws as support for gay law reform grew.

South Australia was the first jurisdiction to decriminalise male homosexual activity on 17 September 1975, with the Australian Capital Territory's decriminalisation proposed in 1973 and approved by the Fraser Federal Government with effect from 4 November 1976.States and territories began granting domestic partnership benefits and relationship recognition to same-sex couples from 2003 onwards, with federal law recognising same-sex couples since 2009 as de facto relationships.Alongside marriage, same-sex relationships may be recognised by states or territories in various ways, including through civil unions, domestic partnerships, registered relationships and/or as unregistered de facto relationships.However, intersex rights in Australia are not fully protected, with many intersex Australians facing coercive medical interventions in childhood.Australia is recognised as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, The term LGBTI is increasingly used in Australia, rather than just LGBT, with the I denoting intersex people.Same-sex couples can marry, enter into a civil union or domestic partnership in most states and territories, or can simply live together in an unregistered de facto relationship.

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