Women Speak Tasmania briefed honourable members of the Legislative Council today, offering our perspective on Labor and the Greens’ proposed amendments to the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018. 

‘We outlined the very real negative impacts on the rights of female persons to safe, female-only spaces if biological male persons are able to become legally female simply by signing a statutory declaration to that effect’, said Women Speak Tasmania spokesperson, Bronwyn Williams.

‘We also expressed our concerns about the inclusion of ‘gender expression’ in the ‘hate speech’ provisions of the Anti-discrimination Act, and the possibility people may find themselves quite unintentionally in breach of the law if they use an incorrect name, pronoun or honorific’. 

‘Contrary to the assertions of Transforming Tasmania and their parliamentary supporters, Labor, the Greens and Government speaker, Sue Hickey, these detrimental effects are real, and they’re happening as we speak in several overseas jurisdictions’.

‘This is not scaremongering, we are not spreading misinformation and we are certainly not lying, and we have provided evidence of our claims to the honourable members’.

‘Given the complexity of the amendments and the possible implications for birth registration processes and anti-discrimination law, we strongly recommend the changes be referred to a parliamentary committee for enquiry and consultation’.

‘There may also be significant inconsistencies between these new laws and existing legislation such as the Commonwealth Family Law Act that will need to be resolved’.

‘We believe there is no social licence for these broad ranging changes, nor has there been a proper risk assessment of their effects.  In fact, the wider Tasmanian community knows virtually nothing about what occurred in Parliament in Tuesday 21 November’, said Miss Williams.

Women Speak Tasmania

  • Bronwyn Williams, Isla MacGregor