An anti-trans group in Tasmania has been invited to take part in designing trans-inclusive posters for public bathrooms, following a council vote late last week.
A motion to introduce trans-inclusive posters in public bathrooms was originally moved by Councillor Holly Ewin and approved by the Hobart City Council last month.
The original motion stated that the posters would be developed “in collaboration with relevant organisations, such as Working It Out and Transforming Tasmania”.
However, late last week, an amendment to include radical feminist group Women Speak Tasmania in the design process was voted through, prompting trans advocates to speak out in dismay, according to ABC News.
Ewin said they couldn’t understand why their fellow councillors wanted Women Speak Tasmania—who have been labelled “trans exclusionary”—included in the design process.
“I guess from [the aldermen’s] perspective it’s in the interests of balance and impartiality,” they told the ABC.
“[Women Speak Tasmania is] just an anti-trans group posting anti-trans sentiment.”
“[Women Speak Tasmania] flat out think trans people shouldn’t be using public restrooms unless they’re using non-gendered bathrooms or the sex that they were assigned at birth.”
Transgender advocate Martine Delaney said the decision to invite the group on board was ridiculous.
“It smacks of somebody trying to ensure that there isn’t actually a poster at the end of it,” she told the ABC.
“Women Speak, despite repeatedly making claims that they are supportive of trans people and have no problems or issues with trans people or trans rights, almost every action they take is designed to belittle trans people, question the existence of trans people and exclude them wherever possible.
“I can’t see how one would get through such a process and come out of it with a poster that is at all inclusive.”
Isla MacGregor from Women’s Speak Tasmania reportedly rejected the idea that the group was “anti-trans.”
According to the ABC, she said the group supports the protection and safety of trans people as well as women and girls, yet she does not think “trans women are women”.
In April, advocates celebrated as Tasmania’s parliament passed a number of transgender law reforms.
The new laws remove the mandatory surgery requirement for changing gender on a birth certificate, instead allowing self-identification through a statutory declaration.
Young people older than 16 will be able to change their gender marker without parental consent, but with appropriate counselling.
Tasmanians will now have the option of removing gender markers from birth certificates, meaning parents of newborns can leave gender off their child’s birth certificate.
The full council will vote on the amendment later this month.