Another candidate for the Victorian council elections is targeting Drag Queen Story Time events and the issue of trans access to bathrooms.

Moira Deeming, a 37-year-old high school teacher from the Melton City council (Watts Ward), claims to stand for “traditional, liberal and family values, like equality before the law” and is against “radical policies” like story times for children narrated by Drag Queens and the issue of trans persons getting access to bathrooms that match their gender identity. Other candidates in the ward have termed Deeming’s statements as “damaging” to the LGBTQI community.

In her candidate statement submitted to the Victorian Electoral Commission Deeming states, ‘Resources should be spent wisely, and only ever allocated based on need, not on identity markers like religion, race or sexuality… Focus on the whole community. I will never support rates being used to promote radical policies like banning Australia Day, Drag Queen Story Times for toddlers or letting biological males who identify as female, use female toilets and change rooms.’

Star Observer contacted Deeming on her email for an opportunity to clarify the statement, and we will update this story when we get a response.

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 We had previously reported about Ballarat City council (South Ward) candidate Susan Jakobi seeking to defund LGBTQI events and the former Moorabool Shire mayor saying that the Rainbow pledge, a campaign to support and protect the LGBTQI community, was “divisive.”

Wesley Rowe, who is also contesting for the two vacancies in the Watts Ward said he could not believe the statement when he first read it.

“I was incredulous when I first read her words – LGBTQI people face enough serious challenges in their everyday life without having people in any political arena offering further damaging opinions,” Rowe told Star Observer. “People and their rights must be placed front and centre in any community, as well as celebrating diversity and raising awareness of what needs to change. Deeming’s statement makes it very clear to me that this year’s theme for The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), ‘Breaking the Silence’, is more appropriate than ever. I support equality, and human rights, and if I am elected into council, I will have zero tolerance for non-inclusive opinions such as this.

“Presently, the state of the entire world seems so focused on division, fear, and hate. We are actually living in a crisis of disconnection and loneliness and opinions like Deeming’s are both a catalyst and an exacerbator for this. We actually need MORE empathy, as well as less defensiveness and divisiveness, to create successful leadership and thus a vibrant, happy and thriving community. If candidates aren’t willing to represent 100% of their citizens, why should they be allowed to run for council?”

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 Deepti Alurkar, a small business owner and a candidate from the same ward, agreed. “I am an advocate of inclusion and I will not participate in any initiatives which take away freedom from other human beings,” said Alurkar, who added that she and her husband had many friends who were gay and lesbian and would support everyone in the community irrespective of their background. “I think we must respect humans for being humans.”

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