Tasmanian Liberal candidate criticised over election posters

Transgender community advocates in Tasmania have called on Premier Will Hodgman to stop Upper House election ads that lump together transgender law reform and child abuse under the policy of “protecting your children”.

Three upper house seats in the Tasmanian parliament will be decided on Saturday 4th May.

Liberal candidate for the Upper House seat of Pembroke, Kristy Johnson, has published newspaper ads that declare one of her three top priorities to be “Protecting your children” under which she lists “mandatory sentencing for pedophilies” and “against the removal of gender on birth certificates”.

The state’s upper house recently passed ground breaking laws which would see gender no longer being recorded on birth certificates unless people specifically asked for it. The proposed legislation has now been returned to the state’s lower chamber.

Advocates argue against Johnson’s assertion that it harmful children, and criticise her decision to list alongside threats of pedophilia.

Transforming Tasmania spokesperson, Roen Meijers, said the reform demonised by Johnson will actually benefit young people.

“The birth certificate law reform that Parliament recently passed actually helps young people live free from discrimination and poses no threat to anyone.”

“The real threat to young people is from election material that stirs up prejudice against them, like the ads from Kristy Johnson.”

“The Liberal Party should apologise for the damage that has been caused to those transgender and gender diverse young people whose lives are already difficult enough.”

Transforming Tasmania’s, Martine Delaney, called on the Premier to honour a commitment he gave her in 2006 not to politicise and pander to anti-transgender prejudice after it was found that the Liberal Party was behind election ads from the Exclusive Brethren that declared transgender rights would “destroy Tasmanian families and society”.

“Kristy Johnson’s ads violate Will Hodgman’s personal commitment to me that this kind of demonisation of transgender human rights would not occur again”,Delaney said.

“I call on the Premier to honour his commitment by intervening immediately to withdraw this damaging and divisive election material.”

Johnson previously shared her opposition to transgender students being allowed to enrol at a single sex school.

The Liberal candidate posted to her campaign’s Facebook page saying she was concerned that transgender girls would be accepted to the school she was planning on sending her daughters to.

Kristy Johnson did not respond to OUTinPerth’s request for comment.

OIP Staff