Prime Minister Scott Morrison has thrown his support behind campaigns by NSW Liberal candidate Katherine Deves and Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler to prevent transgender women from playing women’s sports.

He also left open the possibility of legislating the ban if he wins government on May 21. 

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Deves is the candidate for the seat of Warringah (NSW) – currently held by Independent Zali Steggall who defeated former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the 2019 Australian federal election – as well as a founder of the group Save Women’s Sport.

The group lobbies sports organisations to prevent trans women’s participation in women’s sports.

‘I Share Their Views’

In an interview with radio station 2GB, Morrison was asked about his support for Deves and the campaign to prevent trans women from competing in female sports.

He responded,  “I welcome Katherine’s selection, pleased to play a role in that. I think she’s raised very important issues.”

He went on to express his support for Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler’s anti-trans women in sport bill and called her position on the issue “brave.”

“I think Claire Chandler’s also been outspoken and brave on these issues,” he said, “I share their views. We will have more to say about that at another time.”

‘Politicians Must Stop Using LGBTQI Lives To Score Cheap Political Points’

Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, responded to Morrison, saying, “Politicians must learn that there is nothing to be gained by refusing to stand up for LGBTIQ+ people or using debate about our lives to score cheap political points.

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“Enough is enough. The political parties that wish to form government this coming election must commit to governing for all Australians, and to ensuring that every person in Australia can live their life, with dignity and respect, no matter who they are, or whom they love.”  

Trans advocates have asked politicians to stop using trans persons as political football. “It’s time to recognise that there’s nothing brave about attacking trans people, but that courage instead lies in addressing the real problems we face,”  said trans activist and Just.Equal spokesperson Sally Goldner.

“Trans people want the real issues we face to be debated. These include day-to-day basic rights such as inclusive and equitable health care, identity documents that affirm who we are, a reduction in the discrimination and violence we disproportionally experience and funding of trans-led projects.”
“We reject the constant raising of ‘faux’ culture-war issues that fail to take our interests into account and at times show blatant disregard for our health, wellbeing and lives, often in ways that promote ridicule and hatred. It’s time to recognise that there’s nothing brave about attacking trans people, but that courage instead lies in addressing the real problems we face,” said Goldner.

Morrison Fails To Get Religious Discrimination Bill Passed

Earlier this year, Morrison backed Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler’s private member’s bill to exclude trans women from single-sex sports. 

“I support it, as Claire knows. I think it’s a terrific bill and I’ve given her great encouragement,” Morrison said at the time.

On February 10, Morrison’s homophobic and transphobic Religious Discrimination Bill was derailed when five moderate Liberal MPs in the House Bridget Archer, Katie Allen, Fiona Martin, Dave Sharma, and Trent Zimmerman, voted with Labor and the crossbench to protect LGBTQI students. Morrison was forced to abandon his Bill and seems to have now focussed on trans issues. 

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