In a blow to Malcom Roberts and One Nation’s continued attacks on the rights of the LGBTQI communities, the Australian Senate voted on Tuesday night against a motion that condemned the use of medical treatment for transgender children.

Roberts’ motion called for a “wait-and-see” method for treating children with gender dysphoria and condemned giving children “experimental and unproven medical treatments of irreversible puberty blockers and sex hormone treatments, and irreversible transgender surgery”.

Currently in Australia, an individual must be over the age 18 prior to commencing gender affirmation surgery. However, puberty blockers, medicine which is reversible, are available for those under the age of 18.

As reported last week by Star Observer, Roberts has also recently launched a petition against gender-neutral language and has sought a return to gendered language in Federal forms.

The Liberal party granted its members a conscience vote, which resulted in a vote that split the coalition, with some among Liberal party ranks voting for the anti-Trans Motion to be adopted.

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Attorney-General Michaelia Cash, National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Linda Reynolds and Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonathon Duniam, voted in favour of the motion. The other Coalition MPs who voted for the motion included Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Amanda Stoker, Bridget McKenzie, Matthew Canavan, Sarah Henderson and Eric Abetz.

Duniam went on to tell the chamber that the government was committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of young Australians.

“We acknowledge that the clinical treatment of children experiencing gender dysphoria is a complex and evolving area and that more research is needed,” Duniam said.

“It’s important that state and territories work together to develop a nationally consistent, evidence-based approach, to best practice treatment and clinical care with appropriate safeguards, and we encourage them to immediately prioritise this critical work.”

However Liberal MPs Simon Birmingham, Marise Payne, Dean Smith, Simon Colbeck, Andrew Bragg and Jane Hume all crossed the floor and voted against the motion, with was ultimately defeated 35 votes to 23.

Among a number of Australian Senators to publicly oppose Robert’s motion was Australian Greens LGBTQI+ spokesperson, Janet Rice who slammed the motion as “misinformed fearmongering.”

“News flash! Transgender and non-binary people exist. They are valid and deserve our love and support. And for some of the medical support to affirm their gender is lifesaving. This motion is harmful, it is full of misrepresentation, misinformation, fear-mongering and it’s got no place in our parliament,” said Senator Rice.

“It is a complete misrepresentation of the support being offered to young people in Australia affirming their gender identity, such as the world class services being offered at the Gender Clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.”

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In contrast, the Labor Party opposed the motion and did not have a conscience vote. Labour Senators that voted against the motion included foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong, NSW senator Deborah O’Neill and South Australian senator Don Farrell. Independent Senator Jackie Lambie also voted against the motion.

Pauline Hanson took to social media shortly after Robert’s motion was rejected by the Senate, posting: “When you realise that one of the key Ministers siding with the Greens and Labor against One Nation’s motion was Senator Simon Birmingham, former education minister and current Government leader in the Senate, you will understand why Australia’s education curriculum is filled with so much of this dangerous nonsense.”

“If you want to understand why our schools and universities have abandoned education in favour of indoctrination look no further than the Coalition Government.”

 

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