Anti-transgender stickers spotted in Tasmania have been slammed as a “hateful” response to a debate in the state around changes to birth certificates to benefit trans people.
The stickers, shaped like penises and carrying the phrase “Women don’t have penises,” originated in the UK but have come to Australia, spotted by LGBTIQ advocates in Hobart.
Transforming Tasmania spokeswoman Martine Delaney told The Mercury the stickers were the work of groups who wanted to deny the existence of trans women.
“It’s a view actively promoted by only extremely conservative Christian groups and a very small percentage of women — transgender-exclusionary radical feminists — who claim to be feminists,” Delaney said.
“The transgender-exclusionary radical feminist position is almost universally disavowed by feminist organisations and women’s organisations.
“The existence of trans people is certainly recognised, accepted and supported by governments and the medical profession.”
Greens leader Cassy O’Connor labelled the Hobart stickers “hateful and hurtful” and said it was a transphobic response to the push from her party and state Labor opposition to remove sex markers from birth certificates.
“Transgender and intersex people have been part of human history since its beginnings, across continents and cultures,” she said.
“It’s time for the law to catch up with the facts.”
Tasmanian Liberal Attorney-General Elise Archer said legislating the changes to birth certificates “without proper consideration” would cause “potentially serious unintended consequences”.
But Martine Delaney said a statewide inquiry into the issues in 2016 by the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission backed the birth certificate reform.
Last week Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted that such proposals are “nonsense” in response to Labor putting the issue up for debate at its national conference in December.
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome posted a photo of the “nasty” sticker to his Facebook page.
“Obviously, this is in response to the push for greater legal equality for transgender, gender diverse and intersex folk,” he wrote.
“This nasty little campaign is another nail in the coffin of the government’s push to delay reform with further, unnecessary consultation.
“We have to remove inequities from the law now, or risk further hate.”
The Tasmanian amendments to remove sex markers from birth certificates come amid discussions of similar changes to birth certificates in other states and territories, including Western Australia and Queensland.
In the US, the Trump administration is facing intense backlash after plans were revealed to narrow the legal definition of gender as male or female, defined by biological sex and unchangeable, essentially legally erasing trans and intersex people.