12 April 2016

The Tasmanian Liberal Government should reject calls to provide sweeping changes to the birth register, says the Australian Christian Lobby in a submission to Equal Opportunity Tasmania.

An Equal Opportunity Tasmania Options Paper, which closed for public comment on Monday, argues that people should have the right to change their sex on birth certificates without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

Australian Christian Lobby Tasmania Director Mark Brown said this sort of radical social experiment should not be conducted.

“It is a radical thing to make changing your sex as easy as changing your name.

“To adopt a policy that requires no surgical, medical, or hormonal treatment for a person to legally change sex and that eliminates the involvement of doctors and psychologists in helping persons experiencing Gender Dysphoria is unwise.

“When gender is defined solely as how one feels about oneself as male or female with no clear basis in genetics or sexual development, the term ‘gender’ loses any concrete reference to objective biological reality.

Legal recognition of non-biological sex could also pose added safety and privacy concerns particularly for women and children in gender specific spaces like change-rooms and dormitories.

“This is a very problematic basis for public policy. A purely subjective identification of gender identity or gender as ‘fluid’ ignores a person’s biological sex and cements in law the recognition of a struggling individual’s belief that he or she is something they are not. It is reinforcing dysphoria

“The core policy principle should be that birth certificates always seek to reflect the biological truth of a citizen’s sex.

“To remove the requirement for the consent of both parents on an application for sex change of a child, as suggested in the Options Paper undermines parents’ rights and responsibilities.

“The potential for irreversible damage to a child who may later undertake sex-change surgery, including mental and physical damage, must be considered by Equal Opportunity Tasmania.

“The Tasmanian Government should not be swayed by contested gender ideology to change the law.  The better, more appropriate policy solution for persons with gender dysphoria is to provide psychiatric treatment to address their condition.


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