Photo: Facebook | Darebin City Council.
News, Victoria

City of Darebin first to endorse statement of intersex rights

The City of Darebin has made history by officially affirming the Darlington Statement of intersex rights.

The Melbourne local council is the first in Australia to do so, according to Star Observer.

Councillors voted unanimously to support the rights of intersex people.

Published in 2017, the Darlington Statement is a list of priorities for the intersex community.

It demands respect for human rights and bodily autonomy, greater recognition of diversity and identity, and effective protection from discrimination.

The statement contains calls for action from government, clinical institutions, and allies.

“This statement is a powerful and directive message addressing the key issues currently affecting intersex people,” said Bonnie Hart, president of AIS Support Group Australia, at the time it was released.

“By transparently outlining our common direction, the Darlington Statement has galvanised our community and the intersex movement generally.”

Intersex people are born with physical or biological characteristics such as anatomy, hormones, or chromosomes that are more diverse than stereotypical definitions of male and female bodies.

Up to 1.7 per cent of people are born with such characteristics – the same proportion of people who have red hair.

Many intersex babies and children are still subjected to unnecessary so-called ‘normalising’ surgeries, a practice that activists seek to end.

“The prevalence of people born with variations of sex characteristics indicates that there are over 2,000 intersex people in Darebin,” said Intersex Human Rights Australia co-executive director Tony Briffa.

“Intersex people are still largely invisible in society, and often conflated with being either trans or not being male or female, so supporting intersex issues is important and relevant.”

Though some intersex people are gender diverse, most are cis men and women.

Last month, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson refused in parliament to acknowledge Intersex Awareness Day, referring to “intersex or whatever it is” as a “ridiculous” waste of time.

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