New South Wales trans organisation The Gender Centre and advocacy group just.equal are encouraging state political leaders to learn more about the needs of trans and gender diverse young people, urging them not to support One Nation MP Mark Latham’s Education Amendment Bill.
The bill would ban all recognition of gender diverse school students, as well as threatening staff with dismissal if they provided them any support or encouraged other students to treat trans people with respect, the groups said.
Further, parents could withdraw their children from any discussion of LGBTIQ+ issues in school.
The advocacy groups have created a webform that makes it easy for allies to write to New South Wales political leaders, affirming trans young people and expressing concerns about the One Nation bill.
The two groups have also launched a petition calling for state leaders to affirm trans and gender diverse students and not allow them to be erased from schools.
“By prohibiting the recognition of trans and gender diverse students, the Education Amendment Bill would effectively restrict the ability of these students to attend school,” said The Gender Centre spokesperson Eloise Brook.
“The bill would have a profoundly negative impact on trans youth health.
“Transgender children would struggle to access education safely in a way that every other New South Wales student receives.
“It would give a green light to bullying, and it would increase demand on the state’s already overstretched mental health system.”
Brook said that the bill is “at odds with the reality of trans and gender diverse children and their families”.
“This has led to The Gender Centre commenting on the proposed amendments and encouraging parliamentarians to become more informed about the negative impacts that would arise should this legislation be enacted,” said Brook.
“We would very much like for the New South Wales Parliament to emerge from this debate with a better understanding of our amazing transgender children and families, and as a result, to reject this legislation.”
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said that the bill has raised concerns nationally.
“LGBTIQ+ people across Australia are worried bills like the one proposed in New South Wales may be introduced elsewhere,” said Croome.
“We want to do all we can to support LGBTIQ+ communities in New South Wales to stand against this discriminatory legislation so it won’t be enacted and so it won’t spread to other states and territories.
Letters sent through the webform will go to the parliamentary inquiry into the bill, as well as to the New South Wales Premier, Opposition leader, Education Minister, and Shadow Education Minister.