110,000 strong petition against anti-trans bill delivered to NSW MPs

A petition with more than 110,000 signatures opposing Mark Latham’s anti-trans education bill has been delivered to a coalition of Labor and Greens MPs in New South Wales Parliament.

The petition targets One Nation’s Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020, which aims to prohibit schools from teaching that trans and gender diverse people exist, and prevent counselors from providing trans and gender diverse students with support.

Primary school educator and queer non-binary person Sam Guerra launched the Change.org petition late last year, and delivered it to members of NSW Parliament at a rally organised by Community Action for Rainbow Rights over the weekend.

“Our trans and gender diverse students already suffer. They don’t feel safe, and they haven’t for way too long. It is the responsibility of teachers and schools to create a safe space for all their students — no matter how they choose to identify. No law should interfere with that,” Guerra said.

“I was ever put in a position where a student of mine confided in me about their confusion with their gender or their identity and the law prevented me from supporting them, I would not hesitate to put my job on the line to support this student.”

Community Action for Rainbow Rights supported the petition, warning that Latham’s legislation could set back LGBTI+ rights in NSW by decades.

“This is not a man we can ignore: there are Liberal and Labor state MPs already supporting some of his proposals. We need protests on the streets to empower our community and demand politicians break all cooperation with Latham.”

Change.org Australia Campaigns Director Nic Holas adds that the number of signatures on this petition is more than just an impressive figure.

“It signals the huge levels of community support out there for young trans and gender diverse people. NSW residents make up the biggest cohort within those 110,000 signatures, and I hope NSW Parliament acknowledges that public support. Change.org is proud to support Sam and their petition.”

The petition’s delivery comes as Catholic organisations clash over the proposed bill, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald.

Latham has garnered the support of Catholic Schools NSW, the state’s main Catholic education body, while the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta is standing against the legislation.

The Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta outlined their opposition in a submission to the bill’s parliamentary inquiry, branding the legislation as “counter to promoting and respecting the human dignity of all.”

“Prohibitions on what can be discussed within the learning process can stigmatise these matters and people whose life experiences are connected to them,” the submission read.

The Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta join the Uniting Church’s LGBTIQ+ advocacy group Uniting Network, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and more than 100 other organisations – including Curtin University’s Centre for Human Rights, Trans Health Australia and LGBTIQ+ Health Australia – in rejecting the bill.

OIP Staff

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