Queensland’s LNP votes with Rob Katter against trans women in sport

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Image: Queensland Parliament

The Queensland Parliament has voted down a motion from Katter’s Australia Party leader Rob Katter against transgender women participating in women’s sports.

On Wednesday Katter put forward the motion, calling on MPs to agree “allowing biological men to play in female sport will erode the integrity of female sport” and “anyone who supports biological men playing in female sport, irrespective of age group, level or code, is complicit in eroding the integrity of female sport and therefore women’s rights.”

The Katter motion also states that “based on their insurmountable physical advantages, biological males participating in female sport pose an unfair competitive advantage against and/or safety risk towards female athletes.”

Rob Katter told the parliament the motion would attract “a lot of ire and a lot of anger” but his party would “unashamedly take a position on this”.

“When people are born biologically male and then want to participate in women’s sport through whatever means, whether it is through hormone therapy or surgical changes, there is unquestionably a distinct advantage,” he said.

“That’s not to deny that person an opportunity to play sport. They’re welcome to play sport, and they should enjoy a great life in sport. But there is a distinct advantage when they cross over.”

Rob Katter has called for national ban

But just weeks ago Rob Katter announced he plans to introduce a bill to the state parliament to ban trans women from female sports.

Katter vowed on April 25 he’d put forward the bill, which is unlikely to pass, if the next federal government doesn’t implement a national ban within 90 days of the May 21 election.

Speaking on his motion on Wednesday, he said, “This is nothing against anyone who falls in that category of transgender.

“God loves them all and welcomes them all.”

Fellow Katter’s Australia Party MP Nick Dametto told the parliament the KAP motion was about protecting women’s sport from “guys that may now identify as women putting on a wig and jumping into women’s sport because maybe they’re washed up at the NRL,” prompting MPs to interject in protest.

Labor government rejects ‘draconian and bigoted’ move to ban athletes

But Queensland Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Labor government rejected the motion’s premise and wouldn’t support it.

Hinchcliffe said the parliament making “blanket decisions” on sports participation is “draconian and bigoted” and ultimately not the role of government.

“This is not a debate about sport or women’s rights. It’s an attempt to cause fear and division and is unnecessarily dragging an extreme right-wing trope into this parliament,” he said.

“I’m surprised the KAP are using their relatively rare private members’ motion opportunities on this issue, rather than something more relevant to regional Queenslanders.

“Let us ignore the blatant dog whistle.

“It’s not the role of the state to determine who can and cannot participate in sport based on any factor and gender identity is one of those.

“Individual sports are best placed to determine eligibility.

“Queensland, and indeed Australia, has a well-established system whereby individual sports determine the criteria of participation. This approach is entirely the correct one to take.

“This parliament making blanket decisions purely based on gender identity is not only draconian and bigoted, but unwarranted.

“[It is] indeed against every key concept of inclusion that stands at the heart of everything that we do as a government and that I hope everyone across this parliament can embrace.”

The motion was ultimately defeated 49 votes to 33. None of Queensland’s LNP opposition spoke on the motion, but the party supported it in the vote, as did One Nation’s sole state MP.

Greens blast Katter party motion against trans women in sports

Greens MP Amy McMahon blasted the “repugnant” Katter party motion as “gross discrimination”.

“Instead of talking about healthcare, housing or climate action, we’ve seen the LNP and now the Katters drag trans people’s basic rights through the dirt,” she said.

“Sports is for everyone. If we want to be a country that includes everyone, then everyone should be able to participate in sport including trans and gender diverse people.

“If we’re really serious about supporting women’s sports, let’s pay women sportspeople the same as men. Let’s show women’s sports on free-to-air TV and news coverage and start programs to encourage women and girls to take up sports.

“This motion today is not about women. It’s about stoking up transmisogyny for cheap political tricks and we’re not going to allow it.

“There are many people in this chamber today who are saying to trans people out there, we love you, we need you, we will fight for you.”

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