The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed disappointment that the Justice and Related Legislation Bill 2018, which allows for unlimited gender changes to be recorded on birth certificates passed the second reading stage in the Tasmanian Legislative Council in an 8/6 vote. The bill will be debated, clause by clause, today.

 Acting state director Dan Flynn is urging all Council members to vote in favour of Tania Rattray MLC’s “free speech” amendment, to remove Clause 9(a) and (b) of the Bill. These clauses could result in fines for ‘offending by misgendering’ a trans person. 

 “The mantra that ‘the only people this bill affects is trans people’ is not true. This Bill affects every Tasmanian’s free speech. The scope of Tasmania’s anti-discrimination penalties will be extended into many everyday situations, even where no offence is intended,” warned Dan Flynn. 

“Pronouns are becoming far more numerous and varied, especially for those who identify as genders that do not sit anywhere on a male-female spectrum. It is unreasonable to expect that people will always satisfy a trans persons preferred mode of address. 

“Imposing fines for ‘offending a person by misgendering' is a dangerous precedent to set, which is why we are encouraging all upper house members to vote today in favour of removing Clause 9(a) and (b),” said Mr Flynn.