Following Scott Morrison’s commitment on Thursday to preventing the expulsion of LGBTQ+ students from schools for their sexuality or gender, Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker cast doubt on the proposal on Friday morning.
Stoker told ABC Radio that including an amendment in the religious discrimination bill to prevent the expulsion of students might create ‘unforeseen circumstances’. She said the Sex Discrimination Act ‘shouldn’t be changed unless we know the final form of the Religious Discrimination Bill’.
The conservative senator said despite the prime minister’s assurance, the government was still ‘looking for ways’ to legislate the promise.
Asked about rates of self-harm among trans people, Stoker blamed “many of the medical procedures that we provide to try and help transgender people feel much more mentally healthy.”
She claimed the medical treatments “aren’t actually providing the improvements in health and wellbeing.”
That ignores substantial research that gender-affirming treatments save lives. Trans people without access to medical treatments suffer worse mental health due to the lack of access.
Without Morrison’s promised amendment, more schools will feel empowered to discriminate against LGBTIQ+ students. They will simply not describe their bigotry as discrimination, but as a ‘sincerely held religious belief’.
The Religious Discrimination act virtually guarantees more Citipointes and more unnecessary community division.
Stoker’s comments come ahead of the release of two inquiry reports into the Religious Discrimination Bill. Commentators currently expect Labor to allow consideration of the bill while expressing reservations.
Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker
Stoker, no doubt needs to make headlines and rally conservatives behind her before the 2022 Federal Election.
Last year, she failed in an attempt to win first place on the Queensland LNP Senate ticket. That means she will be placed third on the ballot paper behind the Lib’s James McGrath and the Nat’s Matt Canavan. To remain in the Senate, Stocker must come out ahead of a mob including Pauline Hanson, former Premier Campbell Newman and Clive Palmer.
While Stoker represents a major party, the other three all have experience fighting an election. Stoker, on the other hand, never yet won a public vote, appointed to the Senate in 2018.
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