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Controversial councilor Moira Deeming is Vic Libs pick for upper house

Moira Deeming

The Victorian Liberal party has selected controversial local councilor and former school teacher Moira Deeming as their replacement for outspoken MP Bernie Finn at the upcoming Victoria state election.

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Warning: This article contains references to sexual violence and anti-transgender rhetoric.

The party kicked Finn out the party over his outspoken views on abortion. The longstanding MP said he hoped Victoria would ban abortion, including for victims of rape. Flynn move to be an independent and has subsequently announced he’ll lead the Democratic Labor Party at the election.

When the Liberal party gathered on Saturday night to pick a replacement for Finn on the ticket for the Western Metropolitan Region, they settled on Moira Deeming – who has a long history of campaigning against people who are transgender, as well as the Safe School program.

Deeming, is currently a councilor at the City of Melton, but in 2020 she launched a campaign which saw her travelling across the state challenging other local government authorities on their policies relating to transgender people using public bathrooms.

“I will never support rates being used to promote radical policies like banning Australia Day, drag queen story times for toddlers, or letting biological males who identify as female use female toilets and change rooms.” Deeming said during her election campaign for council.

During her campaign against transgender people being able to access public restrooms Deeming visited all 79 local government jurisdiction in Victoria using public question time to advocate for her position requiring all public bathrooms to clearly state they were for “biological males” or “biological females”.

Deeming argues that councils should provide separate facilities for people who are transgender. Under Victorian state laws and federal laws, it is discriminatory to require a person who is transgender to use a toilet that does not align with their gender identity, a law Deeming describes as being unfair to women.

“This is so extreme and unfair,” Deeming told The Age. “There’s no compromise, no inclination to even care about how women feel, how sexual assault victims feel, how children might feel.”

Deeming says there is no evidence that youth who transition are not a danger to other classmates 

During an appearance on the Sky News program Outsiders last year Moira Deeming said there was still insufficient evidence about the dangers transgender youth who socially transitioned posed to society.

“When you socially transition one student, there is no evidence that it’s not harmful to the rest of the community. Everybody’s identity, everybody’s idea of their own sexed self comes under question.” Deeming said.

Deeming continued on to say that the school’s curriculum had been deliberately designed to silence children, and she considered much of it’s content to be disturbing.

“If you’re not hyper-feminine female or hyper-masculine male, your sense of the worthiness and the rightness of your sex is really undermined. Children don’t feel like their able to speak up because they’ll be branded as not being an ally.” Deeming said.

Deeming suggests women who are raped should turn to religion rather than abortion

While the Victorian Liberals ousted Bernie Finn for his hardline comments against abortion, including criticism of rape victims who choose abortion. Deeming has also voiced similar sentiments in the past.

In an online article, attributed to Deeming, she described abortion as “a terrible evil”.

“Abortion is a terrible evil. Each one wounds a mother and father, murders an unborn child, and ends a whole family line. And that is not to mention the wider wounds to the losses felt by siblings, grandparents and barren families that would have given anything to have a chance to love and raise that child.”

Deeming goes on to suggest that women considering abortion should instead embrace Christianity.

“Young girls and women who find themselves with unplanned pregnancies are often also facing abandonment, broken hearts, social derision, lost dreams, financial and physical hardship, and too often, serious trauma from rape or coercion.

“Where can these weeping, terrified, horrified daughters and granddaughters turn?

“To the Lord! To the Church! To Christians! That is our instant, and passionate answer.”

Victoria Premier Dan Andrews says Deeming’s views are ‘hateful” and “transphobic”

Victorian Premier has criticised the Liberal party’s selection of Moira Deeming as a candidate describing her ideologies as “hateful” and ‘transphobic.”

“I’m not here to comment on the Liberal Party and some of the transphobic, homophobic and frankly, unVictorian kind of hatred. This spite just doesn’t work,” Andrews told the media.

“Like we’re all equal. We all should be respected. We all should be safe. We all should be valued for who we are and we shouldn’t have to be hiding who we are. We shouldn’t have to be fearful that we’re not going to be accepted.”

“If you’re trans in this state, you’re five times more likely to self-harm than if you’re not. That is a very serious issue,” Andrews said.

Health Minister Marry-Anne Thomas said the Liberals had picked a “clone” of ousted member Bernie Finn.

“I have to say, I’m pretty outraged but I’m not surprised,” Thomas said.

“What we’ve seen here is a political party that made a big song and dance about kicking out Bernie Finn and now they’ve pre-selected a Bernie Finn clone.”

Transgender Victoria have also shared their thoughts on the selection, calling for a better response from both the fields of politics and journalism.

“In politics and in journalism, there must be less dehumanisation and demonisation of trans and gender diverse people, and more respect for our dignity, equality and humanity,” a spokesperson told OUTinPerth.

“It is dismaying to see candidates with extreme and harmful views about trans and gender diverse people as candidates in any political party.”

Liberal leader Matthew Guy welcomes the selection of Deeming as a candidate 

Victoria Liberal leader Matthew Guy has welcomed the selection of Moira Deeming as a candidate saying she has always put forward her views in a respectful manner.

“The Labor Party thinks if someone has a different point of view to them they shouldn’t be allowed to express it,” Guy said in response to Premier Dan Andrews comments.

“(Deeming) has expressed her views, as far as I can see … in a fairly respectful way and she’s entitled to have a different point of view from a lot of people. Isn’t she entitled to have a different point of view from the Premier?”

The selection of Deeming as a candidate has been welcomed by Kirralie Smith the leader of Binary, the activist group who campaign against people who are transgender. Katherine Deves, the head of Save Women’s Sport Australia has also voiced her support for Deeming.

Transgender Victoria, the Victorian Pride Lobby and Equality Australia have been contacted for comment. 

25-07-2022 3:40pm Comment from Transgender Victoria added to the report.


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGEDinfo@discharged.org.au / discharged.org.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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