The majority of Queensland’s transgender community would prefer to have a gender marker on their driver’s licence.
That’s the view of Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland president Gina Mather who told QNews she believed 70 per cent of her community would prefer the information had not been removed.
Ms Mather (pictured) also was nonplussed by a metropolitan media report, via a leaked government document, that the LGBTI community had pushed for the change.
“We had no input. We were not consulted,” she said. “We were basically informed by the government once it was a done deal.
“Some are even angry as it (licence marker) was an easy way for them to prove their identity. For them, they have lost their only form of ID that says female or male.”
Ms Mather said had they been consulted by government they would have suggested that disclosure of gender on a licence was optional.
“We certainly didn’t push for the change – we were just told it was happening,” she said.
“We normally work closely with government regarding transgender issues but had no input on this.”
The Palaszczuk Government stopped displaying gender information on new and renewed licences in October 2016, but the Transport and Main Roads Department still records the details, which are available to police.
The issue has been widely reported since The Courier-Mail claimed to have obtained an internal document outlining that gender and height were removed because of complaints made by the LGBTI community.
“TMR has received complaints and suggestions from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community about displaying gender/sex (M or F) on TMR cards,” the leaked document reportedly says.
But Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the primary drivers for the move to scrap the information were amendments to the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act in 2013 and the improvement of biometric imaging and facial recognition technologies.
The Queensland Police Union (QPU) has since slammed the removal of gender information from driving licences as “out of touch nonsense”.
“It generally doesn’t have any effect on how we as police can do our job; it does, however, have all the hallmarks of the typical, out of touch nonsense we as a society have come to expect from government bureaucrats with no practical experience,” QPU president Ian Leavers said.
“The next thing you know, these same government types will want to remove the actual photograph of a person from a driver’s licence because people might be offended because their photograph doesn’t look as good as they’d like it to be.
“Where does it end?”
Meanwhile, Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien called on the community to ‘push back’ on the political correctness threatening Australian values.
“We need to start talking about these things because they are under threat by an overreach of political correctness,” he said.
“2017 ended with Christmas apparently causing offence and so you had bureaucrats suggesting children perhaps shouldn’t send each other Christmas cards.
“And you had major retail outlets re-branding the Christmas tree as the white forest tree.
“… 2018 begins and now apparently it’s people’s gender causing offence.
“Use of the words boys and girls, ladies and gentleman are off limits for the Commonwealth Games.
“And now identification as being male or female is being cut from our driver’s licences. There is such a thing as a slippery slope and an overreach of political correctness is putting us on it.
“As a community we need to push back – our culture, our way of life is worth protecting.”