Bridget Archer says Claire Chandler is pushing a ‘vanity bill’

Bridget Archer

Liberal MP Bridget Archer has spoken out against Senator Chandler’s proposed bill that would allow discrimination against transgender women in the sporting arena.

The outspoken MP said the legislation put forward by fellow Tasmanian was a “vanity bill”. Her criticism of the bill comes just days after it was endorsed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Archer has described the bill as “unnecessary and divisive”. Speaking to The Guardian, she said there was no evidence that the legislation was needed.

“This is not government policy – this is a vanity bill,” Archer said.

Bridget Archer said the Coalition needed to desist from a culture war that had real world implications for vulnerable people.

“I wish we would stop talking about these issues,” Archer said. “I think people need a break”.

The Liberal senator, Andrew Bragg has also spoken out against the bill.

“I don’t think importing US culture wars is a good idea.”

“Despite US controversy, I am not aware of issues in Australia,” he told Guardian Australia. “The Sex Discrimination Act exemptions are already broad and appear to work as intended. I see no case for law reform.”

Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein has also joined the growing number of Liberals questioning the need for the legislation.

“I think we have an inclusive society and I think the way that we manage sport in Tasmania is a reflection of that society,” Gutwein said on Thursday. “I don’t believe there’s any need for this Bill … (What) I wouldn’t want to see is any weakening whatsoever of our anti-discrimination legislation.”

The Premier’s response drew criticism from Sky News presenter Peta Credlin, who labeled the Premier “Gutless Gutwein”. The former political staffer turned TV host has often featured Senator Chandler as a guest on her show and has voiced her support for the legislation.

The member for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, also said there was no need for Senator Chandler’s bill.

“All the evidence in Australia suggests the major sporting codes already have in place policies to manage this issue effectively within current legal frameworks,” he said.

Senator Chandler refuses to provide any examples of where her bill is needed

Earlier in the week Senator Chandler said her bill had nothing to do with discriminating against transgender people, but was instead about protecting women who wanted to play women’s only sport from biological males.

During an radio interview with the ABC Senator Chandler said she was not willing to provide any examples of where her legislation was needed, but insisted that she was aware of hundreds of examples across the nation.

OIP Staff

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