Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been urged to meet meet transgender, gender diverse and intersex Tasmanians and their families after describing transgender law reform as “ridiculous”.
On Tuesday night, nine historic changes aiming to remove discrimination against transgender and intersex people in the state’s Births, Deaths and Marriage Act passed the state’s Lower House, including making the inclusion of sex markers on birth certificates optional.
But in response, Morrison took to Twitter to slam the move, writing, “Labor’s plan to remove gender from birth certificates in Tasmania is ridiculous.
“Bill Shorten should step up and commit to put a motion to ALP Federal Conference to outlaw it.”
Transforming Tasmania spokesperson Roen Meijers extended an invitation to Morrison to discuss the issue with trans people and their families
“We invite Mr Morrison to meet the people personally affected by this important reform because personal stories can change the hearts and minds, including the Prime Minister’s,” Meijers said.
“Transgender, gender diverse and intersex people have compelling stories to tell of stigma and discrimination.
“As Prime Minister, Mr Morrison has a responsibility to hear these stories so he is fully informed.
“We are happy to meet Mr Morrison anywhere anytime, and all we ask in return is that he comes to the meeting with an open mind.”
Meijers said an opinion piece published this week in local Tasmanian newspaper The Mercury, written by Candace Harrington, described the discrimination her trans son Callum faces when seeking work, because his birth certificate does not match his gender identity.
Meijers said Candace and Callum’s story had resulted in letters to the publication from people who had changed their minds and now backed the law changes, which aim to prevent discrimination against transgender peopl.
Urged to meet with ‘gay conversion’ therapy survivors
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a number of anti-transgender comments since taking office in August.
In his first week, he said he found LGBTIQ inclusion in sex ed lessons for students “skin-curling”.
Morrison later slammed a news article about training for school teachers in supporting trans and gender diverse students.
“We do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in schools… let kids be kids,” Morrison tweeted, drawing condemnation from LGBTIQ groups across the country.
Advocacy group just.equal has previously written to Morrison asking him to meet with survivors of harmful “gay conversion” therapy, which the Prime Minister declared was “not an issue” for him and he had “no plans” to address.