An anti-transgender education bill proposed by One Nation’s Mark Latham and endorsed by NSW Parliament has been condemned as a war on trans and gender diverse young people.
Latham recently introduced two bills to NSW Parliament that call into question the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community, with the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 being criticised for discriminating against the trans and gender diverse community.
If enacted, One Nation’s Parental Rights Bill would ban the teaching of gender fluidity in NSW.
Teachers, counsellors and other school staff would be prevented from affirming a student as transgender without advice from their parents first and the rights of trans students to seek confidential support within their school environment would be removed.
Just.Equal spokesperson Dr Charlie Burton said the bill will be enormously damaging to an already vulnerable community and increase the discrimination, stigma, and harm they face.
“The biggest impact of that change, if it’s enacted, will be on the mental health and we have to be frank about this, whether some of these kids are alive or not,” Dr Burton told City Hub.
“Really, our political leaders should be promoting respect, understanding, and supporting for vulnerable populations, especially young trans kids. Instead, they’re supporting and advocating for fear and distrust. It’s a complete failure of political leadership and yet cast to be condemned.”
The bill further states that if a student is in the process of transitioning, all parents of other children in the same year will be notified of the change.
Spokesperson for The Gender Centre Eloise Brook said that this recommendation is particularly problematic.
“Add on the extra burden of the stigma associated with that young person having to front up in front of the entire school year, and that every single parent of every single student is to be informed.
“It adds such an unnecessary level of misery to an already serious problem,” Brook told City Hub.
NSW Parliament’s Education Committee, chaired by Latham, endorsed the Parental Rights bill.
The only members that opposed the report were Labor MLC Anthony D’Adam and Greens MLC David Shoebridge.
State Member for Newton Jenny Leong says One Nation’s bill is nothing short of disgraceful.
“It is extremely disappointing that a platform was given to One Nation, a party that routinely spouts racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic rhetoric to get attention, to hold this inquiry.
“It’s even more disappointing that members of the Liberal/National Government and the NSW Labor opposition supported these views,” Leong told City Hub.