LGBTI Rights

Kirby & PG Canberra (16 May 2017)

Professor Gerber with The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

Professor Gerber has undertaken extensive research into the human rights issues facing sexual and gender minorities around the world, including marriage equality in the West and the ongoing criminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults in over 70 countries. Professor Gerber developed which  sets out the laws criminalising homosexuality around the world is a highly sought after resource providing reliable, accurate and up-to-date information about the laws used to persecute LGBTI individuals.

Professor Gerber played a pivotal role in Victoria, in 2014, enacting legislation to allow for the expunging of convictions for consensual gay sex in the days before it was decriminalised. Professor Gerber’s research in this area, Wiping the slate clean: Historic convictions for gay sex must be expunged and Should gay men still be labeled criminals?, was picked up by mainstream media and subsequently politicians with the result that Victoria became the first state in Australia to right this wrong of past convictions for gay sex (see The Conversation). Many other states and territories have since followed this lead.IDAHOT photo

Professor Gerber complements her academic work in the LGBTI field, with volunteer work to promote and protect the rights of LGBTI people in the Asia Pacific region. As the immediate past President and current Director of the Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation, Professor Gerber advocates for Asia Pacific countries to respect the human rights of persons with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. For example, she has been the driving force behind the development of Kaleidoscope’s Best Practice Guide to assessing asylum seeker claims based on sexual orientation or gender identity which was launched on World Refugee Day (20 June) in 2015, and is responsible for coordinating Kaleidoscope’s submission of shadow reports to UN human rights bodies on LGBTI issues.


In March 2019, Professor Gerber joined LGBTIQ advocates at The Commonwealth Equality Network to strategise how to further advance LGBTIQ rights within Commonwealth nations.

Publications and Conference Papers

Edited Book

Paula Gerber (ed) Worldwide Perspectives on Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals (3 volumes) (2021) ABC-CLIO, California.

Paula Gerber and Adiva Sifris (eds) Current Trends in the Regulation of Same-Sex Relationships (2010) Federation Press, Sydney.

Book Chapters

Paula Gerber ‘Commentary on JM v QFG & GK’ in Heather Douglas, Francesca Bartlett, Trish Luker and Rosemary Hunter (eds) Australian Feminist Judgements: Righting and Rewriting Law (2014) Hart Publishers 391-396.

Paula Gerber and Adiva Sifris ‘Marriage Equality in Australia’ Chapter 9 in Gerber, Paula & Castan, Melissa (eds) Contemporary Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia (2013) Thomson Reuters, Sydney, 199-221.

Adiva Sifris and Paula Gerber ‘It Makes No Sense: Adoption by Same-sex Couples in Australia’ in Marsh, Victor (ed) Speak Now: Australian Perspectives on Same-sex Marriage (2011) Clouds of Magellan Press, Melbourne.

Paula Gerber ‘The Best Interests of the Child in Same-sex Families’ in Paula Gerber and Adiva Sifris (eds) Current Trends in the Regulation of Same-Sex Relationships (2010) Federation Press, Sydney, 28-42.

Paula Gerber and Adiva Sifris ‘The Winds of Change are Blowing’ in Paula Gerber and Adiva Sifris (eds) Current Trends in the Regulation of Same-Sex Relationships (2010) Federation Press, Sydney, 1-7.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Paula Gerber & Phoebe Irving Lindner, ‘Educating children about sexual orientation and gender identity post-marriage equality in Australia’ (2022) 5(2) Human Rights Education Review 4.

Paula Gerber & Aaron Timoshanko ‘Is the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child doing enough to protect the rights of LGBT children and children with same-sex parents?‘ (2021) 21(4) Human Rights Law Review 786.

Paula Gerber, Senthorun Raj, Cai Wilkinson and Anthony Langlois, ‘Protecting the rights of LGBTIQ people around the world: Beyond marriage equality and the decriminalisation of homosexuality‘ (2021) Alternative Law Journal 1.

Paula Gerber and Claerwen O’Hara, ‘Teaching Law Students about Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status within Human Rights Law: Seven Principles for Curriculum Design and Pedagogy‘ (2019) 68(2) Journal of Legal Education 416.

Anthony Langlois, Cai Wilkinson, Paula Gerber & Baden Offord ‘Community, identity, orientation: sexuality, gender and rights in ASEAN’ (2017) 30(5) Pacific Review 710-728.

Cai Wilkinson, Paula Gerber, Baden Offord and Anthony J Langlois ‘LGBT Rights in Southeast Asia: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?‘ (2017) 3(1) IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies 5.

Phoebe Irving Lindner and Paula Gerber ‘Modern Families: Should children be able to have more than two parents recorded on their birth certificates?’ (2015) 5(1) Victoria University Law Journal 34.

Paula Gerber and Phoebe Lindner ‘Birth Certificates for Children with Same-sex Parents: A Reflection of Biology or Something More?’ (2015) 18(2) New York University Journal of Legislation & Public Policy

Paula Gerber, Kristine Tay and Adiva Sifris Marriage: A human right for all? (2014) 36 Sydney Law Review 381-405.

Paula Gerber Living a life of crime: The ongoing criminalisation of Homosexuality within the Commonwealth (2014) 39(2) Alternative Law Journal 78.

Paula Gerber and Joel Gory ‘The UN Human Rights Committee and LGBT Rights: What is it doing? What could it be doing?’ (2014) 14 (3) Human Rights Law Review 403-439.

Paula Gerber and Katie O’Byrne, Katie Should gay men still be labeled criminals? (2013) 38(2) Alternative Law Journal 82-86.

Adiva Sifris and Paula Gerber Same-sex Marriage in Australia: A Battleground for Equality (2011) 25(2) Australian Journal of Family Law 96-120.

Adiva Sifris and Paula Gerber Jack & Jill / Jack & Bill: The Case for Same-Sex Adoption(2009) 34(3) Alternative Law Journal 168-172.

Non-peer Reviewed Articles

Paula Gerber and Adiva Sifris Marriage: A Human Right or a Heterosexual Privilege?(2013) Portia20.

Adiva Sifris and Paula Gerber Victorian Court circumvents prohibition on adoption by same-sex couple [Case note] (2011) Australian Journal of Family Law 25.


Do Same-sex couples have the right to marry?

UN’s work in the area of LGBTI rights at the 2013 Castan Centre conference

Submissions to Parliamentary Inquiries

Submission to Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into adoption by Same-Sex couples (March 2015)

Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014 (July 2014)

Submissions to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill and the Marriage Amendment Bill (2012).

Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee regarding the Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill (2009).

Submission to the Parliament of New South Wales Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice regarding the Inquiry into Adoption by Same Sex Couples (2009).

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