Did Binary make stuff up about Victorian school teachers?

Anti-transgender organisation Binary has denied its flyers, distributed in Victoria ahead of the state election, are misleading.

On Friday the ABC and RMIT Fact Lab published a report analysing the group’s claim that the Andrews government has a policy that allows children to transition gender without parental consent.

The ABC said that the was incorrect to claim that it was a “Victorian government policy to allow school children access to gender-affirming medical treatment without parental consent.”

The fact-checking unit said the claim appeared both in the organisation’s flyers and on their website. They say it is untrue that the Victorian government allows students to access medical treatment without parental or court permission.

The report does highlight the government’s policy of supporting LGBTIQA+ students, and notes there are some circumstances where school can support students in affirming their gender via social transition, but this does not extend to medical treatments.

Social transition includes allowing students to dress in a way that supports their gender, and using their chosen name and pronouns, as where medical transition may include hormone blocking medication, cross hormones or medical procedures.

Jeremy Wiggins, CEO at Transcend Australia, spoke to the RMIT team and highlighted that there is a lot of confusion about the terms that relate to the treatment of people who are transgender.

“Binary Australia are conflating the language on the website and saying that gender transition means medical intervention, which is not the same thing.”

“The Victorian Education policy is not about medical intervention, it is about social transition, meaning using an individual’s preferred name and pronouns to provide a safe and affirming education environment for a young person,” he said.

Binary spokesperson Kirralie Smith has hit back at the university and the national broadcaster accusing them of lying to the public.

“We did not claim that “medical treatments” could be arranged without parental consent. Our flyers simply reprinted the education policy as it is written regarding ‘gender transition’.” Smith said in an email. “It was the ABC and RMIT who included medical treatments, then published lengthy articles ‘debunking’ the claim we did not make.”

“It is an outrageous lie, and indicative of the power these agencies wield while being sheltered by the trans lobby.”

Smith criticised the ABC and RMIT for being involved in the Pride in Diversity program run by ACON. The ABC program Media Watch recently questioned if the ABC’s involvement in the program could lead to editorial bias, leading to a swift rebuke from the health organisation, ABC management, and complaints from ABC staff.

Smith has called on both the ABC and RMIT print an apology and full retraction.

“They must issue a retraction and apology.” she said. “It is unacceptable that taxpayer funded organisations can get away with false reporting.”

The group said they have distributed 5000 of the flyers across the state ahead of the Victoria State Election and next week plan to extend their campaign to mobile billboards displayed on the side of trucks.

Earlier this year Binary denied it qualifies to be listed as an extremist hate group following a report from a US based organisation who included them as one of “20 far-right groups in Australia”.

The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) said their work identifies organisations that are “embracing beliefs and activities that demean, harass, and inspire violence against people based on their identity traits including race, religion, ethnicity, language, national or social origin, caste, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity”.

OIP Staff

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