NSW protesters defy ban to march against Latham’s anti-trans Bill

LGBTQIA+ advocates and allies in New South Wales took to the streets over the weekend to march against a transphobic Bill currently before the state’s parliament.

The protest, led by Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR), was organised in opposition to NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham’s Education Bill.

The bill would amend the state’s Education Act to “prohibit the teaching of the ideology of gender fluidity to children in schools”, ensure the curriculum does not include mentions of trans or gender diverse identities, and put teaching and support staff’s jobs at risk should they choose to support trans and gender diverse students.

The rally went ahead in Sydney on Saturday in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling to ban the gathering, after NSW Police claimed the event would be a COVID-19 risk.

Speaking to news.com.au, organiser April Holcombe questioned the Supreme Court decision in light of an exemption for 11,000 people to attend NSW’s Everest Race.

“It was quite outrageous that we were being suppressed, but people had the guts to show up anyway,” Holcombe said of the event, which saw many attendees slapped with fines, and herself arrested.

“It’s about making people understand how vulnerable trans people are.”

Speaking to OUTinPerth, a spokesperson for CARR said the fines for breaching the Supreme Court ban were set at $1,000.

“Protestors have been subject to police tactics, such as “kettling”, which makes it harder to social distance and demonstrates how cynical their repression is,” the spokesperson said.

“Arrests have been quite political as they target organisers and the most enthusiastic individuals.”

The spokesperson warns that Latham’s Bill aims to push the discussion on LGBTIQ+ rights to the right, not only in NSW but across Australia.

“I don’t think it’s an accident that this One Nation politician had chosen the most vulnerable members of our community – trans youth – for his parliamentary bullying. We need to show trans kids that we have their back.”

“The Morrison Government still has their so-called religious freedom bills under the table. Latham’s relatively more extreme bill serves the purpose of legitimising the former as some “necessary” compromise but they should both be rejected as attempts to retain the second-class citizenship of queer people.”

“Teachers shouldn’t lose their job for supporting a trans student against bullying. Pharmacists shouldn’t be able to cut people off PrEP or HIV medication.”

“History has shown that we can push back against the right and bigots like Latham and Morrison through mass, defiant protest. The NSW police tried their best to stop us but we put on our rainbow masks, pushed past their lines and continued the traditions of those who fought for our rights in the past.”

A Change.org petition against the Bill, which launched in August, has gathered over 80,000 signatures over the past three months.

OIP Staff

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