A councillor in Melton, in Melbourne’s west, has been criticised for “transphobic” views over pushing for trans people to be forced to use separate public bathrooms.
Moira Deeming has used public question time events in at least 13 separate council meetings across Victoria this month to ask whether councils could legally provide separate facilities for trans people.
“For example, can we legally put signs on a set of public toilets declaring that one is for biological males (including males with an intersex condition), one is for biological females (including biological females with an intersex condition) and one is for people with transgender identities (of any biological sex)?” Deeming asked, according to the Star Weekly.
The majority of councils responded by highlighting that such segregation would breach both federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
Darebin chief executive Sue Wilkinson said that anti-discrimination legislation means a trans person cannot be forced to use facilities not aligning with their gender.
Moonee Valley mayor Cam Nation called out Deeming for her transphobic suggestions, as well as for representing herself as a private citizen rather than a councillor.
“Public question time is not an opportunity for councillors elected elsewhere to come into our chambers and use our council meeting as a platform to spread their homophobic and transphobic views,” Nation told the council meeting.
“This is clearly nothing more than trying to bring divisive and offensive rhetoric into our chambers and into our city.”
Nation said that Deeming, who ran for government on a “family values” platform, “has a history of homophobic and transphobic statements”.
Deeming has previously attacked drag queen storytime events and engaged in transphobic “adult human female” rhetoric about gender identity while arguing for trans exclusion.
Melton City Council supports The Space LGBTIQA+ social support group for young people.
Elsewhere in Melbourne and across the state, almost 20 local councils have recently passed reforms to support LGBTIQA+ people through establishing advisory committees and action plans, as well as solidarity gestures such as flying the rainbow flag.