Mark Latham, the New South Wales leader of the far-right One Nation party, has used a community event on Trans Day of Visibility to call trans women “blokes in skirts” and accuse “transgender idealogues” of attempting to convert children to being trans.
Speaking to a religious community group on Zoom on Wednesday night, Latham spoke of the importance of banning gender studies in schools.
His Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill seeks to ban schools from recognising gender diversity and would see staff at risk of being fired for supporting young trans people.
Latham said that the bill would ensure parents were informed about the curriculum and could remove their children from classes against their values, claiming that parents had told him their children’s English classes were frequently replaced with gender studies.
He added that “gender should be taught according to biological science, not as a social construct”.
“The idea that a teacher could say to an eight-year-old boy, ‘You only feel male because you were dressed in blue’… this is happening in our system,” said Latham.
“Your gender has been socially constructed and you can change it at any time of your choosing, teachers shouldn’t be allowed to say that.
“Gender fluidity is not part of the curriculum, and we need to enshrine that in law, such is the high level of danger of what’s happening in our schools.
“Some transgender idealogues seem to go outside the curriculum and do their own thing, that’s why we need a legal prohibition on what they’re doing.”
LGBTIQ+ advocacy groups last year launched a campaign calling on the public to contact New South Wales political leaders and ask them to reject Latham’s controversial education bill and affirm trans youth.
Latham went on to mention the issue of trans people in sport as an example of “identity politics” attempting to divide society.
“Look at the debate now about women’s changerooms in sport and transgender – effectively blokes in skirts – playing female sport and bashing up the women pretty comprehensively,” he said.
Asked about diversity, Latham claimed that research has shown older white men are the group most severely discriminated against.
One Nation has increased its rhetoric against trans people in recent years.
Senator Malcolm Roberts moved two weeks ago for the Senate to reject the notions of gender-neutral language and respecting pronouns, in a motion that Greens Senator Janet Rice called “bigoted” and “disgusting”.
The motion passed with the support of the Morrison Government.
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