NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham has been slammed for unveiling a Bill that would ban any support for transgender students at the state’s schools.
Latham introduced his proposed Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill to NSW’s Upper House last Wednesday.
In a speech, he said his bill seeks to “outlaw gender fluidity teaching, course development and teacher training”. He equated the “promotion of gender fluidity” with child abuse.
“Parents are sick and tired of teachers and school counsellors telling their children that gender is a choice,” he said.
“If they can convince young people that things such as family and gender are socially constructed and that there is some kind of conspiracy to deny them their true identity, then no part of our culture is safe.
“The Parliament should legislate to defend the family unit and the biological science of gender.
“Parents, not schools, are the teachers of the values of their children.”
The Bill seeks to amend state’s Education Act to proclaim gender identity as “equivalent to a person’s biological sex”.
Latham then wants to ban the inclusion of anything to do with “gender fluidity” from all courses in NSW schools.
The Bill also prohibits any “instruction, counselling and advice” on “gender fluidity” provided to students by counsellors, staff or volunteers at the school.
Any teacher violating the ban would then face the sack under Latham’s Bill.
The Bill also allows parents to withdraw their children from lessons contradicting the parent’s “political, social or personal” values.
Mark Latham schools legislation ‘transphobic and obscene’
Last week, the Upper House referred the bill to a parliamentary committee chaired by Mark Latham himself.
Greens MP David Shoebridge, also on the committee, blasted the bill as a “ridiculous ideological attack”.
“The idea that we should be firing teachers or counsellors who support trans and gender diverse children asking for help is obscene,” he said.
“Parliament should work hard to ensure counselling and other support is reflective of the needs of students, not give a platform to an obsessed transphobic bigot.”
On Monday, Equality Australia wrote to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling on her government to immediately oppose the Bill.
CEO Anna Brown said the “extremely flawed” Bill denies the existence of transgender and gender diverse people. It also offensively describes people born with intersex variations as “disordered”.
Ms Brown said the Bill violates schools’ legal obligations to educate students without discrimination.
“The Bill creates an unsafe environment for LGBTIQ students and teachers and children in LGBTIQ families,” she said.
“It prevents teachers from seeking to affirm the right of all children to feel safe at school.
“Every child deserves a well-rounded education. This Bill threatens those values and allows One Nation to dictate our school curriculum.”
Mark Latham has targeted the transgender community continuously since his election to NSW Parliament last March.
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