AN amendment to Victoria’s Mental Health Bill (2014) to ensure the expression of of any particular gender identity is not defined as a mental illness has been passed in the state’s parliament tonight.

The amendment was introduced by Prahran state Liberal MP Clem Newton-Brown to the Coalition cabinet, who accepted it before it was introduced in the upper house.

The Greens had also introduced the same amendment, and the cross-party support of the change to the bill passed in order for it to be legislated.

Section 4(2) of the bill sets out examples of what does not constitute mental illness: “that the person expresses or refuses or fails to express a particular sexual preference or sexual orientation”.

The successful amendments secured “gender identity” into the wording of that clause.

Newton-Brown said the amendment was a win for the Victoria’s trans* community in particular.

“The trans* community is relatively small but it is important that legislation takes into account their particular circumstances,” he told the Star Observer.

“I have responded to concerns from the community and ensured that it is crystal clear in Victoria that no one can be deemed to have a mental illness by virtue of their gender identity.”


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