Committee hearing for Mark Latham’s anti-trans bill interrupted by protestors

The committee hearing on Mark Latham’s anti-trans education bill has begun today, seeing fierce opposition from trans and gender diverse activists, protestors and allies.

This morning’s hearing in New South Wales was stalled by protestors from the get-go, with protestors chanting “When trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”. The chants led to Latham ending the meeting and the live feed.

“How dare you sit there and try to oversee the rolling back of our rights, rolling them back by decades, trying to attack the most vulnerable people in our society – transgender young people, who have already got it tough enough,” one protestor said to Latham.

“You are nothing but a thug, and a bigot, that doesn’t represent anyone but yourself and a tiny minority of bigots in this society. The vast majority of people want our school to be inclusive spaces, and don’t want teachers to have to turn around and worry about their own jobs, their own livelihoods, because of bills that you are trying to pass with the support of the Liberal party in this parliament.”

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.

Over the weekend, 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.

Primary school educator and queer non-binary person Sam Guerra launched the 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.

The committee hearing is set to run for two days, and will determine whether the bill can be brought before parliament later in the year.

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