Federal senate passes motion opposing gender neutral language

The Australian Senate has passed a motion opposing gender neutral language. The motion was put forward in the upper house by Senator Malcolm Roberts from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

The motion called on the senate to note that inclusion can not be achieved through “distortion of biological and relational descriptors.” and called on the Morrison government to reject a series of words including chest-feeding, menstruators and non-birthing parent.

The motion called for departments within the government, and government funding agencies to stop using words include any of the listed words in their materials, any legislation, training materials or on their websites.

The motion also called for people who choose to use non-traditional pronouns to make sure they do not “dehumanise the human race and undermine gender.”, and also drew attention to a Queensland doctor who has claimed children are becoming fearful about using the words “boy” and girl”.

Prior to motion being voted upon Senator Jonathan Duniam read a statement from the government on the issue saying;

“The government supports the rights of individuals to make use of any pronouns or descriptors they prefer, while encouraging respect for the preferences of others.

“The government will use language in communications that is appropriate for the purpose of those communications and is respectful of its audiences.”

The motion was successfully passed with 33 senators supporting the statement and 31 voicing their opposition.

The Greens Senator Janet Rice asked to comment on the motion after it passed, but was denied permission to speak on the issue.

Rice later shared her thoughts on Twitter and didn’t hold back.

“I expect this shit from One Nation. But the Morrison Government just voted to support One Nation’s disgusting, bigoted Senate motion trying to deny the identity of trans & non binary people. So the motion passed. What happened to governing for all Australians? Scumbags!” the Greens senator said.

Here’s the official wording of the motion the senate gave support to:

*1055 Senator Roberts: To move—That the Senate—

  1. notes that:
    1. our fundamental biology and relationships are represented through the following descriptors – mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, boy, girl, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, female, male, man, woman, lady, gentleman, Mr, Mrs, Ms, sir, madam, dad, mum, husband, wife,
    2. broad scale genuine inclusion cannot be achieved through distortions of biological and relational descriptors,
    3. an individual’s right to choose their descriptors and pronouns for personal use must not dehumanise the human race and undermine gender,
    4. Dr Lyons from Logan (Queensland) reports incidences of young children feeling stressed and panicked about whether it is okay to use the words boy and girl, and
    5. pushing gender-neutral language is no replacement for appropriate emotional and psychological support for children while growing up; and
  2. calls on the Federal Government to:
    1. reject the use of distorted language such as gestational/non-gestational parent, chest-feeding, human milk, lactating parent, menstruators, birthing/non-birthing parent, and
    2. ensure all federal government and federal government funded agencies do not include these terms in their material, including legislation, websites, employee documentation and training materials.

OIP Staff 17-03-21 The title of this article was update to improve accuracy. 

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