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Braddon By-election: Stark Differences in Social Policy

Very little is usually mentioned about social policy during elections. Everyone assumes voters are only interested at an individual ‘what’s in it for me’ level. 

The Braddon by-election this Saturday appears to be a case in point with the media awash with lavish local promises from both major parties.  

While jobs, education and health are all important topics, the social policies reflect most clearly the parties’ conscience and therefore should be an important part of election commentary.  

Social policies are by and large common-sense goals for supporting the vulnerable in our community and both major parties should be commended for including them in their platforms.  

However, in more recent years such policies in the Australian Labor Party platform relating to LGBTIQ issues appear to have been written by activists with a wish-list of inclusions. And they appear to be getting everything they want. 

My recent Sunday Examiner article highlighted some of these. Interestingly the newspaper cut out a significant part of it and is yet to explain why. Here is the part removed: 

Parents with a gender-confused 5-year-old would be in danger of breaking the law if they encouraged their child to stick with their biological sex. This is deemed by the ALP as “serious psychological abuse” and “when suffered within the family, as domestic violence against the child.” (Labor National Platform 2015 p193).  

Any attempts at helping their child to be comfortable in their biological sex would be construed as ‘conversion’ and could result in the child being removed from the ‘abusive’ home.  

Later this year the ALP National Conference will go even further by voting on whether to criminalise such ‘conversion.’ This would mean that those who hold a traditional view of sexuality and gender – whether counsellors, doctors, academics, ministers and even parents could end up with a criminal record for such ‘abuse’. 

Another motion will support the establishment of “a Commissioner for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status issues, to work across government and the private sector to reduce discrimination.” (Draft Labor National Platform 2018 p183).  

This state-funded department is likely to be the one policing the criminalisation of those with traditional views on gender and sexuality. They will also be ensuring all ‘discriminatory’ binary language and documentation ceases across the nation and that identification documents like birth certificates match ones preferred gender (and not necessarily one’s biological sex). 

The implication of changes like these are incredibly concerning. 

So, while the economic sweeteners continue to be dished out this week, voters should also be giving due consideration to the kind of Australia they might face should some of these radical policies and departments become embedded in mainstream society.

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