Calls for Tasmanian Premier to stop election ads ‘demonising’ trans rights


Tasmanian transgender advocates have called on the state’s Premier to stop Upper House election ads that lump together transgender law reform and child abuse under the policy of “protecting your children”.

Liberal candidate for the Upper House seat of Pembroke, Kristy Johnson, has published newspaper ads (pictured) that declare one of her three top priorities to be “Protecting your children” under which she lists “mandatory sentencing for pedophiles” and “against the removal of gender on birth certificates”.

Transforming Tasmania spokesperson, Roen Meijers, said the reform demonised by Ms Johnson will actually benefit young people.

“The birth certificate law reform that Parliament recently passed actually helps young people live free from discrimination and poses no threat to anyone.”

“The real threat to young people is from election material that stirs up prejudice against them, like the ads from Kristy Johnson.”

“The Liberal Party should apologise for the damage that has been caused to those transgender and gender diverse young people whose lives are already difficult enough.”

Transforming Tasmania’s, Martine Delaney, called on the Premier to honour a commitment he gave her in 2006 not to politicise and pander to anti-transgender prejudice after it was found that the Liberal Party was behind election ads from the Exclusive Brethren that declared transgender rights would “destroy Tasmanian families and society”.

“Kristy Johnson’s ads violate Will Hodgman’s personal commitment to me that this kind of demonisation of transgender human rights would not occur again,” Ms Delaney said.

“I call on the Premier to honour his commitment by intervening immediately to withdraw this damaging and divisive election material.”

Tasmanian voters in the electorates of Pembroke, Nelson and Montgomery will go to the polls on May 4 to to elect three new Legislative Council members for the next six years.

Earlier this month, the Tasmanian Parliament passed landmark legislation recognising and protecting transgender and gender diverse people that is the best in the nation and among the best in the world.

Included in the package was a provision allowing the option of removing gender from birth certificates.

Among the positive impacts of this reform is that young people who rely on birth certificates for identification will not be outed as transgender or gender diverse when applying for jobs or enrolling in school.

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