Petition to fight Mark Latham’s anti-LGBTIQ+ education bill in NSW

A petition to prevent the passing of the One Nation-led Education Legislation Amendment Bill in New South Wales is circulating the internet, gathering national support.

The petition has garnered almost 60,000 signatures over the last two weeks, demanding the Bill not pass New South Wales state parliament.

“It is wrong, unfair and it is discrimination,” the petition launched by Sam Guerra reads.

“It prevents a developing human from being able to truly realise their full potential and their true selves because of ignorant and uneducated people in power.”

“We are a progressive society and we welcome all kinds of gender identity and sexualities and this should be celebrated, not hidden in the closet anymore, especially in such a safe and accepting space where children spend most of their developing years.”

The Bill, proposed by NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham, 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.

Separate to the petition, The New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSWGLRL) have rallied a number of peak bodies and support organisations to speak out against the Bill with a joint statement.

The statement’s signatories include LGBTIQ+ health service ACON, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the City of Sydney and the Inner City Legal Centre among others.

“There is a real need for positivity right now in NSW and Latham could do a Bill that would actually benefit the state… for example, a Bill that would reduce unemployment during the pandemic, increase support to our frontline staff, support small businesses, assist elderly residents in aged care and nursing homes, or young people who have been impacted by social isolation,” said NSWGLRL co-convenor Jack Whitney.

“Instead, he is attacking LGBTIQ children.”

Co-convenor Audrey Marsh adds that young trans and gender diverse people need the support of their school communities.

“Any reactive legislation that attempts to make the lives to trans and gender diverse children harder is cruel and must be stopped.”

City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, a vocal supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community and Sydney Mardi Gras, shared her thoughts on Latham’s proposed amendments.

“It is disappointing that in the year 2020 the community must come together once again to oppose another divisive and discriminatory piece of legislation against the LGBTIQ and gender diverse communities,” Moore said.

“Mark Latham’s Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 is an outrageous attack on trans and gender diverse students, families and teachers and I am proud to join the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and a large group of community and civil society partners and leaders in opposing it.”

ACON CEO Nicholas Parkhill also characterised the Bill as an attack on trans and gender diverse children and families.

“We know the dangerous outcomes that public debate around the lives of our communities brings about, and as such we would encourage all members of Parliament to ensure this Bill does not become law.”

OIP Staff

Image: petition

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