Don't rush Tasmanian gender laws

The Tasmanian Coalition for Kids wants Parliament to defer debate on gender laws (Facebook)

Under proposed changes before Tasmania's Parliament, 16-year-olds can change gender and name without parental approval, writes Ben Smith from the Tasmanian Coalition for Kids. Source: The Examiner.

Most people probably know that under the changes, a child’s sex won’t be recorded on a birth certificate unless parents ask.

But did you also know that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade requires documentary evidence of a person’s sex for all first-time passport applications?

And, if these changes become law and a child’s parents decline to put their child's sex on their birth certificate, the only way to get that information added will be via an application to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or even a magistrate in some circumstances? What about the fact you could be fined up to $3000 for “misgendering” someone – for example, by calling them “mister” when they identify as a woman?

These are just some of the consequences of the proposed new gender laws that the Tasmanian Coalition For Kids is concerned about. We believe these proposed gender laws have been rushed, with no consultation or proper legal analysis and they go too far.

Every Tasmanian will be affected – be it through making sex on birth certificates optional; the changes to anti-discrimination law; or the potential flow-on impacts to things like single-sex schools, and women’s sport. There are even implications for the prison system. Recently in the UK, a male who self-identified as female was transferred to a women’s prison where he shockingly sexually assaulted two female prisoners.

Now the UK Government is opening a separate unit for transgender inmates.

Is the Tasmanian Government planning and budgeting to build separate transgender units at Risdon Prison, and in the new northern prison, if these laws pass?

I want to be clear: we fully support transgender individuals, but we believe that debate on these proposed legal changes should be deferred so a Parliamentary Inquiry can consult with the public and call for expert analysis. We just want to let kids be kids.

– Ben Smith is the Tasmanian Coalition for Kids’ spokesman. The Hobart Archdiocese and Catholic Women’s League are members of the coalition.


Tasmanian Coalition for Kids’ spokesman Ben Smith (The Examiner)


Transgender advocates ‘gobsmacked’ by ‘uneducated’ ad opposing Tasmanian birth certificate laws (ABC News) 

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