A petition with more than 110,000 signatures opposing Mark Latham’s anti-transgender education bill has been delivered to a group of NSW Labor and Greens MPs.
New South Wales One Nation leader Mark Latham has caused outrage with his Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020.
Advocates warn the bill, if passed, would ban all recognition of trans and gender diverse students at schools in the state.
The bill would amend the state’s Education Act to proclaim gender identity as “equivalent to a person’s biological sex”.
It would also prevent other staff members, including counselors, from supporting trans and gender diverse students.
Any teacher violating the ban would then face the sack under Latham’s bill.
Queer teacher Sam Guerra launched the Change.org petition to oppose Mark Latham’s bill last year.
“Our trans and gender diverse students already suffer. They don’t feel safe, and they haven’t for way too long,” Guerra said.
“It is the responsibility of teachers and schools to create a safe space for all their students — no matter how they choose to identify.
“No law should interfere with that.
“If I was ever put in a position where a student of mine confided in me about their confusion with their gender or their identity and the law prevented me from supporting them, I would not hesitate to put my job on the line to support this student.”
Sydney protest rally opposes Mark Latham’s anti-trans legislation
On Saturday, Sam Guerra delivered the petition to members of NSW Parliament at a rally in Sydney on Saturday.
Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) organised the “Kill the Bills” rally. The group warn Mark Latham’s legislation could “set back LGBTIQ rights in NSW by decades.”
The group claims some state MPs are supportive of the proposals meaning Mark Latham “is not a man we can ignore.”
“We need protests on the streets to empower our community and demand politicians break all cooperation with Latham.”
The bill is currently before a NSW parliamentary committee chaired by Latham himself. The committee will hold public hearings on the bill in the NSW Parliament this week.
The NSW government has not yet indicated a position on the bill.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said in a statement Latham’s draft legislation “is not a government bill”.
“As with any bill from a private member, the NSW government will respond after careful deliberation to ensure all relevant legislation and protections are considered,” she said.
Meanwhile, two weeks ago a NSW parliamentary committee endorsed Mark Latham’s separate religious freedom legislation, also sparking backlash.
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