Trans community advocates in Tasmania have called on the Premier to stop Upper House election ads that lump together trans law reform with child abuse under the policy of “protecting your children”.
Liberal candidate for the Upper House seat of Pembroke, Kristy Johnson, has published newspaper ads that declare one of her top priorities to be “protecting your children”, under which she lists “mandatory sentencing for paedophiles” and “against the removal of gender on birth certificates”.
“The birth certificate law reform that Parliament recently passed actually helps young people live free from discrimination and poses no threat to anyone,” said Meijers.
“The real threat to young people is from election material that stirs up prejudice against them, like the ads from Kristy Johnson.
“The Liberal Party should apologise for the damage that has been caused to those transgender and gender diverse young people whose lives are already difficult enough.”
Transforming Tasmania’s Martine Delaney called on the Premier to honour a commitment he gave her in 2006 not to politicise and pander to anti-trans prejudice after it was found that the Liberal Party was behind election ads from the Exclusive Brethren that declared trans rights would “destroy Tasmanian families and society”.
“Kristy Johnson’s ads violate Will Hodgman’s personal commitment to me that this kind of demonisation of transgender human rights would not occur again”, Delaney said.
“I call on the Premier to honour his commitment by intervening immediately to withdraw this damaging and divisive election material.”
Earlier this month the Tasmanian Parliament passed landmark legislation recognising and protecting transgender and gender diverse people that advocates consider the best in the nation and among the best in the world.
Included in the package was a provision allowing the option of removing gender from birth certificates, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison attacked as “nonsense”.
Advocates have said that among the positive impacts of this reform is that young people who rely on birth certificates for identification will not be outed as transgender or gender diverse when applying for jobs or enrolling in school.