The Australian Liberal Party in its federal council last week passed a motion sponsored by Senator Claire Chandler for “female specific” sports facilities – a measure against trans inclusion.

Put forward by the Tasmanian Senator, the motion sought to differentiate between men and women as a legitimate reason for the existence of female-specific sports, health services, domestic violence services, refuges, shelters, change rooms and prisons.

 

The motion stated that “These single sex services and facilities continue to play a critical role in society, particularly in protecting the privacy, safety, dignity, health and well-being of women and all Australians have a right to speak freely about the reality of biological sex and express views and the importance of single-sex services.”

The motion sought to “condemn the abuse and threats of violence against women advocating in relation to these matters particularly on social media”.

The motion concluded by calling on the Federal Government to affirm its support for the provision of single-sex sports, facilities and services.

Attack On Transgender Rights

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Senator Chandler has come out in attack of transgender rights many times before. As reported by the Star Observer in October 2020, she denounced then recently launched inclusion policies adopted by Australia’s leading sporting codes saying that she believes they ignore evidence about transgender women.

However, it appears her attacks are only intensifying, as was pointed out in a post by Rodney Croome, spokesperson for Equality Tasmania. “Between May 1st and 28th, Senator Claire Chandler posted 23 times on Facebook. Twelve of those posts, more than half, were against inclusion for trans women, despite there being a state election and a federal budget in that period.”

Croome also pointed to a biased, anti-trans survey Senator Chandler has launched and which she is promoting via advertisements on social media.

The survey claims that “biological males are being allowed to compete against biological females in women’s sports and that ‘this makes a mockery of the achievements of female athletes who have previously been allowed to excel on an even playing field.’

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The survey asks that Sports Australia urgently withdraw its trans inclusion guidelines, which were implemented in 2019 after being developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission to provide guidance to sporting organisations on promoting the inclusion and participation of transgender and gender diverse people in sport.

“Sport Australia’s Inclusion Guidelines undermine women’s sport by claiming participation should be based on ‘affirmed gender identity’ rather than sex. Men have strength, stamina and physique advantages over women. In many sports, it is unfair and unsafe for biological males to play against women,” Senator Chandler’s survey concludes.

Against Australian Values

Sally Goldner AM, Transgender Victoria media representative told Star Observer that the survey had nothing to do with Australian values in that “real Australian values include a kindness, fair go and standing for up for the underdog. I don’t find those values in Senator Chandler’s survey; I see fearmongering, kicking people who are down further down and negativity overall.”

According to Croome, Chandler’s “obsession is not only demonising a vulnerable minority and dividing women at a time when they should be united against abuse and violence, it also distracts from problems facing all Tasmanians in areas like health care and education. Tasmania needs politicians who will unite us in the common cause of improving our community, not divide us by indulging their personal obsessions”.

“Equality Tasmania will soon be launching a campaign that affirms trans inclusion in sports and show why Senator Chandler’s crusade is wrong and damaging,” Croome concluded.

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

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