TransFolk of WA slam Senator Chandler’s anti-trans sports bill

Local support and advocacy organisation TransFolk of WA have responded to revelations Prime Minister Scott Morrison supports a bill that seeks to exclude trans, gender diverse and intersex Australians from sport.

Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler’s Sex Discrimination and Other Legislation Amendment (Save Women’s Sport) Bill 2022 would ensure that people assigned male or female at birth were kept separate on the sporting field, and could exclude intersex people entirely.

The Prime Minister’s support of the private member’s bill has drawn vocal opposition from LGBTQIA+ advocates, labelling the amendments as out of step with society, science and major Australian sporting codes – who are moving to make sport more inclusive for trans, gender diverse and intersex folks.

TransFolk of WA have today voiced their objections to the bill, highlighting major concerns over the wellbeing of trans, gender diverse and intersex communities under a cloud of “federally endorsed transphobia.”

“We are forced again to respond to a Bill that seeks to degrade anti-discrimination law in such a way as to specifically limit the lives of trans, gender diverse and intersex people,” TransFolk of WA Chair Hunter Gurevich said.

“It should go without saying that this Bill is inappropriate and discriminatory. It seeks to alter standing Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 to permit exclusion of individuals from sports based on Senator Claire Chandler’s interpretation of the categories of sex.”

“It does not reflect the understanding of contemporary society or scientific consensus, in that it actively excludes trans and gender diverse people, and it erases intersex people altogether. The reality is, the Act already permits discrimination against trans and gender diverse people based on strength and stamina. Senator Chandler’s bill therefore is necessarily designed to discriminate against trans, gender diverse and intersex people purely for being different.”

“A mature and nuanced conversation is to be had regarding the participation of trans, gender diverse and intersex people in sports. It is to be had by trans, gender diverse, intersex and cisgender sports people, by physicians and scientists. It is to be had within each sport about each sport by experts in the sport. It is not to be imperiously curtailed or micromanaged by politicians with an axe to grind or an election to win.”

“We live in an extraordinary country, but we have problems. We have climate change, health services, sustainability of our energy, resources and economy, housing, jobs… the list is long, and many of the items critical. We beg our democratically elected federal leaders to prioritise the critical issues over petty meddling in standing legislation.”

“In short: leave us alone and do your actual job.”

OIP Staff

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