The Gender Centre in New South Wales has launched a new campaign urging state leaders to defend trans and gender diverse young people and reject a damaging bill from One Nation’s Mark Latham.
They warn Latham’s education bill, if passed, would ban all recognition of trans and gender diverse school students in NSW.
Teachers, counsellors and other staff would face dismissal if they provide any support to the vulnerable students. Further, a parent could withdraw a child from any discussion of LGBTIQ+ people in school.
Introducing the bill, Latham told the NSW Upper House he wants to “outlaw gender fluidity teaching, course development and teacher training”. He equated the “promotion of gender fluidity” with child abuse.
“The Parliament should legislate to defend the family unit and the biological science of gender,” Latham said.
The bill is currently before a NSW parliamentary committee chaired by Mark Latham himself.
On Wednesday the Gender Centre and national LGBTIQ group just.equal launched a webform allowing allies of trans and gender diverse youth to tell NSW leaders they “want all LGBTIQ+ kids affirmed, not erased.”
The two groups have also launched an AllOut petition calling for politicians to reject the bill, likening it to the UK’s infamous Clause 28 and Russia’s law banning LGBTIQ+ “propaganda”.
A separate Change.org petition against Latham’s bill launched by Sam Guerra a few weeks ago has also attracted 79,000 signatures.
Gender Centre says Mark Latham bill would ‘give green light to bullying’
The Gender Centre spokesperson Eloise Brook said the Bill would have a “profoundly negative” effect on trans youth health.
“By prohibiting the recognition of trans and gender diverse students, the Education Amendment 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 would very much like for 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.”
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome is concerned similar bills may emerge elsewhere in Australia.
“I urge everyone who wants to affirm trans and gender diverse people, and oppose the One Nation bill, to send an email and sign the petition,” he said.
“We want to do all we can to support LGBTIQ+ communities in NSW stand against this discriminatory legislation so it won’t be enacted and so it won’t spread to other states and territories.”
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