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QLD: Government bill undermines birth records, parental rights and women’s safety

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill 2022 was introduced by Attorney General, Shannon Fentiman, on the last Parliamentary sitting day of last year. Then, public submissions closed on 11 January, allowing the minimum of exposure.

The Bill will legalise the falsification of Birth Certificates by allowing any person over the age of 16 to alter their record of sex. It is dangerous and irresponsible legislation.

It appears the Government is confused between the contemporary social application of “gender identity” which is fluid and subjective, and “sex” which is immutable and defined by biology.

The European Institute for Gender Equality, an autonomous body of the European Union, provides definitions of sex and gender…

Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define humans as female or male…”

Gender refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being female and male…  These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialisation processes. They are context- and time-specific, and changeable…”

The Government’s policy and direction on gender and sex related legislation has rightly been questioned by the Queensland Law Society which has called for “an audit of all state legislation and policies referring to sex or gender, to clarify rules” according to The Australian.

The consequences of falsifying the facts surrounding the live birth of a person are far reaching and have serious consequences. Two glaring consequences are parental rights and women’s safety.

1. Parental rights:

Any person under the age of 18 years old in Queensland is considered a minor according to Section 17 of the Law Reform Act 1995.

The Bill allows children over 16 to apply to alter their record of sex without the consent of a parent or legal guardian , and children as young as 12 to “apply to alter the record of sex of the child if the child has obtained an order from the Children’s Court.” This is a serious breach of parental rights.

2. Women’s safety:

The Bill provides opportunity for sexual predators to change their sex by simply filling in a form to legally falsify their sex and gain access to female-only spaces. This includes public toilets, change rooms, women’s shelters, and women’s prisons.

The Australian Christian Lobby has made a public submission to the committee reviewing this Bill. You can read the submission here.

Please contact your local Member of Parliament and ask them to vote against this dangerous and controversial Bill.

Details of all MPs, including phone numbers and email addresses, can be found here.

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