What started as a Bill to harmonise Tasmanian laws with the federal change to the definition of marriage has become the eye of the gender ideology storm.
Late last year the Liberal Government put an administrative Bill into the House of Assembly with the suitably administrative title, the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018,
However, in a sudden coup d’état for lgbti advocates, the Liberal speaker, Sue Hickey combined with the ALP and the Greens to out-vote the government and add extra provisions to the Bill. The new provisions removed sex from Birth Certificates and imposed fines on people who offend people, even unintentionally, by misgendering them.
The Bill passed the House of Assembly without any substantive debate because the lgbti advocates had the numbers.
Last week the Bill was before the Legislative Council, the 15-member house of review.
Prior to the debate commencing, ACL had the opportunity to brief members of the Legislative Council. In that briefing, I called for the removal of the “offence to offend” by misgendering and requested that the Bill be referred to a Legislative Council Inquiry empowered to take submissions from stakeholders and call evidence.
The Tasmanian Solicitor-General also briefed the Legislative Council. He said that there are a number of legal uncertainties and conflicts with other Tasmanian Laws.
When the debate commenced last Thursday Ivan Dean MLC moved that the Bill be referred to a Legislative Council committee, as we had submitted.
That motion was lost 8/6. The 4 ALP MPs and the 4 Independent MPs combined to scuttle the motion.
The Legislative Council resumes on Tuesday 2 April. As well as the Bill itself, there are dozens of amendments to be considered.
Just to show you how radical this debate has become, let’s consider an amendment circulated yesterday by Ruth Forrest MLC, a proponent of the Bill.
In that amendment, she is seeking to legislate that a self-described male can be pregnant and get an abortion. Her amendment states that someone other than female can have a female reproductive tract.
If Ruth Forrest’s amendment is supported by the ALP, it will almost certainly pass. This is without a doubt radical gender ideology gone mad.
This will be a test for Labor at the state and federal level.
The implications for Labor are clear:
If Tasmania Labor supports this radical policy it clashes with its federal leader, Bill Shorten.
Mr Shorten said in November last year, when informed of this bill, that he had no intention of erasing gender from birth certificates.
With a federal election just over a month away, Bill Shorten should now explain whether he supports the stand taken by Tasmanian Labor.