A Sydney protest rally will oppose Mark Latham’s “cruel and inhumane” proposed legislation banning recognition of transgender students in schools.
The One Nation state leader introduced his proposed Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill to the NSW Upper House last August.
Advocates warn the bill, if it’s passed, would ban all recognition of trans and gender diverse students at schools in the state.
Teachers, counsellors and other staff would also face dismissal and deregistration for providing support to the students.
Latham told the NSW Upper House he wants to “outlaw gender fluidity teaching, course development and teacher training”.
The bill defines gender fluidity as “a belief there is a difference between biological sex … and human gender.”
Latham equated the “promotion of gender fluidity” with child abuse.
“The Parliament should legislate to defend the family unit and the biological science of gender,” he said.
A NSW parliamentary committee chaired by Latham himself is currently considering the draft legislation.
Mark Latham’s anti-trans bill is ‘wrong and inhumane’
This Saturday, Community Action for Rainbow Rights are holding the protest rally opposing the bill at Taylor Square from 1pm.
Among the speakers is teacher Sam Guerre, whose Change.org petition opposing the bill has over 105,000 signatures.
“A child spends much of their developmental years at school with a teacher as their guide,” Guerre will tell the rally.
“To have the law prevent educators from being able to support their students is wrong and inhumane.
“[Stating] teachers cannot educate their students about trans and gender diverse people and to respect them is cruel.
“[Prohibiting] school counsellors from affirming trans and gender diverse students and not be able to offer them support or referrals is evil.
“To threaten a teacher’s job because they supported one of their students coming to terms with their identity is heartless.
“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.”
‘Reject this legislation’
Among Mark Latham’s education bill’s problems is law experts pointing out that it’s simply unconstitutional.
Gender Centre spokesperson Eloise Brook has also warned of a “profoundly negative” effect on trans youth health.
“By prohibiting the recognition of trans and gender diverse students, the bill would effectively restrict their ability to attend school,” Brook said.
“Transgender children would struggle to access education safely in a way that every other NSW student receives.
“It would give a green light to bullying, and increase demand on the state’s already overstretched mental health system.
“We want the NSW Parliament to emerge from this debate with a better understanding of our amazing transgender children and families, and as a result, reject this legislation.”
Meanwhile, two weeks ago a NSW parliamentary committee endorsed Mark Latham’s separate religious freedom legislation, sparking backlash.
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