The 78ers community organisation, First Mardi Gras Inc, has strongly condemned NSW One Nation MP Mark Latham’s Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020.
“Latham’s proposed legislation harms trans and gender diverse students by denying their existence and preventing teachers and counsellors from supporting them. It allows parents to withdraw their child from a class or program that aims to be inclusive of LGBTIQ+ students,” said 78er and First Mardi Gras Co-Chair, Diane Minnis.
Minnis claims that in recent years teachers have increased efforts to provide supportive and inclusive environments for students who are disclosing and expressing their identities, but the Latham Bill explicitly threatens to punish teachers that welcome and support trans and gender diverse students.
‘Transphobic Bill Should Be Voted Out’
“This culturally divisive and blatantly transphobic bill should be voted out of the NSW Parliament. Every student in NSW should have the opportunity to reach their potential, to learn with their peers, and feel a sense of belonging in their school,” said 78er and First Mardi Gras Co-Chair Ken Davis.
Davis claims that some provisions of the Bill are akin to coercive aversion therapy citing the proposed enshrinement of biological fallacies, such as describing intersex people as disordered.
Davis said, “This type of provision will contribute to more young intersex persons feeling suicidal or attempting suicide.”
First Mardi Gras claims that under the proposed legislation, schools would be required to present discredited counter narratives on gender diversity when teaching classes in science or history. The group also argue that the proposed legislation puts public and private sector teachers at risk of losing their job if they support a trans or gender diverse student in affirming their identity.
“78ers are appalled by this regressive attempt to undermine the gains driven by early LGBTQI+ activists. Schools are fundamental in enabling the development of social relationships and identity. All students, no matter who they are, deserve to live and study with dignity,” said Minnis.
Representatives of First Mardi Gras will be speaking at the Defend LGBTIQ rights in NSW: No right to Discriminate Rally to be held on Saturday 5th June at 1.00pm at Sydney Town Hall.