Anti-Discrimination Commissioner denies application to exclude trans women

Tasmanian LGBTQIA+ community advocates say they are deeply disappointed about an attempt by supporters of the LGB Alliance to discriminate against trans and gender diverse Tasmanians.

The newly-formed LGB Alliance has applied to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner to hold an event that excludes trans and gender diverse people.

As reported in The Australian, Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt says women’s events that exclude transgender women are at “significant risk” of breaking the law.

“This is problematic as it may result in potential breaches of the act under section 17, which makes offensive, humiliating, intimidating, insulting and ridiculing conduct on the basis of gender, gender identity and intersex variations of sex characteristics unlawful,” Bolt declared in her ruling.

“I consider the risk of unlawful conduct under such an exemption … to be significant. As I see it, an exemption should not be granted in circumstances where the conduct permitted could foreseeably be in contradiction with the principles of the act.”

A spokesperson for the LGB Alliance said while they assisted a member of the public in preparing this event, LGB Alliance Australia were not the event’s official hosts.

“We are an advocacy group for same-sex attracted individuals (LGB), although we welcome trans supporters,” the LGB Alliance spokesperson said.

“As other minority groups have events for their own community, including trans-only events, we feel this is a reasonable application.”

Equality Tasmania spokesperson Charlie Burton says the LGB Alliance is an unrepresentative group that doesn’t reflect the views of LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians.

“The Tasmanian LGBTIQ+ community has overcome great adversity and has successfully campaigned for Australia’s most progressive LGBTIQ laws,” Burton said.

“The key to our success has been solidarity and inclusion, not discrimination and exclusion.”

“Trans and gender diverse people have long been an integral part of our community and have made an immense contribution to Tasmanians society – just look at Martine Delaney recently being named on the Tasmanian women’s honour roll.”

The LGB Alliance, which began in Britain, had its application to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner refused and has lodged an appeal to the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.

“We respect the anti-discrimination process as we would hope and encourage other groups to do as well,” Burton added.

OIP Staff

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