Liberals Betray Trans And Gender Diverse Victorians

06 December 2016

The Andrews Labor Government has condemned the Liberal National Coalition’s decision to oppose yet another key equality Bill which would have improved the lives of thousands of Victorians – including hundreds of children cared for by the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Dysphoria unit.

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2016 was an election commitment to remove the need for trans and gender diverse people to undergo invasive, unnecessary surgery and be unmarried in order to obtain a birth certificate that reflected who they truly are.

Members of the Opposition enjoyed the safety of parliamentary privilege to make offensive comments, before voting against the Bill:

  • Leader for the Nationals, Peter Walsh said "But if people are self-describing what gender they are, are they actually women? That is the whole point?"
  • Louise Staley said "I cannot help but feel that such men are engaging in a radical form of mansplaining, telling women what really makes one a woman."

Other Opposition MPs who claim to be LGBTI equality allies, including Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, remained silent, leaving the offensive remarks unchallenged.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Equality Martin Foley

“LGBTI people are not some abstract, hypothetical category in a text book – they could be your parent, your aunt or uncle, sister, brother or best friend.”

“This bill was about giving trans and gender Victorians a basic right – a birth certificate which reflects who they truly are.”

“Opposition members should hang their heads in shame. They pigheadedly refused to imagine what life is like for trans and gender diverse Victorians.”

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“It’s sad, but not surprising, that the Liberal Party has taken refuge in fear and misinformation, when trans, gender diverse and intersex Victorians rightfully expected them to demonstrate understanding and acceptance.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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