It’s important to address some of the myths and misinformation about the transgender, intersex and gender diverse law reforms being proposed in Tasmania.
These proposals will not “criminalise” parents of intersex children.
They will provide parents with a long-overdue legal and policy framework that will help them deal with the difficult choices they face.
These reforms will not stop the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages from collecting data on the sex and gender of children.
They will allow gender references to be removed from birth certificates, in the same way they were removed from drivers licences years ago.
Those who want gender references on their birth certificate will still be able to have them.
These reforms are not “secret”. We have been lobbying for them for almost twenty years and the Government has had specific legislative proposals on its desk since earlier this year.
Indeed, before approaching any other party, we took our proposed amendments to the Liberal Government in the hope equality would be enacted with tri-partisan support.
These reforms are not “controversial”. Despite months of debate, there has been very little concern expressed within the community.
These reforms are not “radical”. They are a sensible solution to the problem that Tasmanian law treats transgender and gender-diverse people more harshly than any other state.
These reforms do not affect all Tasmanians, only those transgender and gender diverse people who face discrimination because years of government inaction mean our laws are backward and repressive.
There is no need for the inquiry being proposed by the Government, because there was an inquiry into exactly the same issue by the state Anti-Discrimination Commissioner as recently as 2016.
We accept there is a need for an inquiry into the intersex reforms, because they cross across many different areas of law.
But the other reforms are straightforward, and another inquiry will serve no purpose other than to further delay long overdue reform.
I urge Tasmanians who are concerned about the proposed reforms to talk to transgender and gender diverse people about how the law damages our lives, instead of accepting fear-mongering campaigns at face value.
Like all other Tasmanians, all we want is to be treated with equal dignity by the law – and with respect by our fellow citizens.