A Senate motion calling for the rejection of gender-neutral language in favour of “fundamental biology and relationships” has been passed with the support of the Morrison Government.
The One Nation motion, moved by Senator Malcolm Roberts, called for the Senate to endorse only gendered terms, such as ‘man’ and ‘woman’, and stated that “broad scale genuine inclusion cannot be achieved through distortions of biological and relational descriptors”.
It further called for the Senate to note that respecting personal pronouns and descriptors “must not dehumanise the human race and undermine gender” and to reject the “distorted language” of gender-neutral terms.
The motion included examples of gender-neutral terms, such as ‘chest-feeding’ and ‘menstruators’, that are sometimes used to allow inclusivity in discussion – such as of trans men and other non-women in the context of child feeding or menstruation, respectively.
Greens Senator Janet Rice took to social media to slam the motion and its “scumbag” supporters.
“I expect this shit from One Nation,” tweeted Rice.
“But the Morrison Government just voted to support One Nation’s disgusting, bigoted Senate motion trying to deny the identity of trans and non-binary people.
“So the motion passed.
“What happened to governing for all Australians? Scumbags!”
The motion has generated controversy among other social media users.
Some reacted with anger and expressed fear that the motion represents a risk that the government may attempt to roll back rights for trans people.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get to change my birth certificate with the way things are going,” posted one person.
“And now, is it a valid concern to think they may force me to change back my Medicare and passport in line with the birth certificate?”
Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, called the wording of the motion “deeply disturbing”.
“It sends a terrible message to trans and gender diverse people who need and deserve support and care,” wrote Brown.
The motion was passed with the votes of 33 senators against 31 who opposed it.
Those voting in its support were primarily from the Liberal Party, along with The Nationals and One Nation.