The Tasmanian Upper House will continue debate on landmark transgender law reforms after voting down an independent push to delay the legislation with further inquiry.
Advocates have welcomed the decision, and have vowed to work with Upper House members to ensure the legislation is as robust as possible.
But the Upper House, populated mostly by independents, voted down the motion which had the support of the Tasmania government, with the opposition and many independents signalling that they felt scrutiny of the bill had been sufficient.
“We welcome the Upper House’s recognition that this reform is urgent with the cost of delay measured in lives,” said Transforming Tasmania spokesperson Roen Meijers.
“We will continue to work with all Upper House members to ensure the legislation is as sound, robust and fair as possible.”
Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest and Rosevears MLC Kerry Finch, both independent, each spoke in favour of the bill during today’s debate, with advocates welcoming their passion for the reforms.
“Ms Forrest and Mr Finch’s words lifted the spirits of all those transgender and gender diverse people and their families who are looking to our Upper House for leadership,” said Meijers.
Tasmanian Families for Trans Kids announced that they had invited the spokesperson for the new anti-trans lobby to meet with them to hear their stories and understand the importance of the legislation after.
The Tasmanian Coalition for Kids ran a full-page ad in newspapers this week, in which Tasmanian Families for Trans Kids’ spokesperson Candace Harrington said every point was factually incorrect and misleading.
“The extent of misinformation about the proposed legal changes is deeply upsetting to families like mine and we welcome any opportunity to explain the true impact,” Harrington said.
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights have endorsed the bill currently being debated, with ALHR LGBTI Committe Co-Chair Nicholas Stewart saying it “brings Tasmania’s human rights into the modern world.”
“We are pleased to see the Bill proposing amendments that enable people to amend identification documents, namely birth certificates, to reflect the person’s lived gender, without the need for gender reassignment surgery,” Stewart said.
“We are also encouraged by the Bill’s proposed accommodation of parents of intersex children in relation to being given 60 days before being required to register their child’s
If passed, the amendments will not take any rights away from parents or other citizens. However, they will ameliorate potential human rights violations against transgender, intersex and other gender diverse Tasmanians.”
Debate on the reforms will continue when the Upper House resumes sitting on April 2.