A Tasmanian transgender activist has won an apology from Exclusive Brethren members after the 2006 publication of state election advertisements attacking transgender and intersex people.
The apology will appear in three Tasmanian newspapers tomorrow, The Examiner, The Advocate and The Mercury and is the result of a settlement of an anti-discrimination case, running for three years.
Martine Delaney took members of the Exclusive Brethren religious group to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal in 2006 over and a series of advertisements she says caused hurt and offence to the community.
“It’s hard enough being a transgender or intersex person in this society without your basic human rights being hatefully attacked,” she said.
“My wish has always been to ensure election debates are conducted without vulnerable minorities being unfairly targeted.”
The advertisement claimed that Greens policy support for transgender people would “ruin families and society.”
The apology was issued by Exclusive Brethren members, Roger Unwin and Graham Lewis, on behalf of the company that paid for the advertisements, TradTas.
Delaney told Sydney Star Observer she was pleased the Exclusive Brethren members agreed to apologise for distress caused although would liked to have seen the pair involved in an education campaign.
It’s not a perfect result but I think it’s quite and achievement to acknowledge they caused offence and I think that’s a first in Australia for them to apologise for something like that.
Delaney has another case with the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal on Monday to inquire into the Liberal Party’s role in the advertisements.
In a similar case also involving Delaney earlier this year, the tribunal found a 2006 Liberal Party election pamphlet did not contravene the state’s incitement to hatred laws when it called same-sex marriage socially destructive.