The Australian Christian Lobby has urged Tasmanian Labor Leader Ms White to clarify Labor’s position on Ruth Forrest’s latest amendment to the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018, circulated yesterday.

Last week the Tasmanian Attorney-General advised the Legislative Council of the Solicitor-General’s serious concerns with the Bill.  

“In the context of this Bill, the Solicitor-General has advised that under Tasmanian law, the only person an abortion can lawfully be performed on is a woman. He advised that the effect of this Bill would be to make abortion unlawful if performed on someone other than a woman”, said acting state director Dan Flynn. 

Despite these concerns being tabled in Parliament, the 4 ALP MLC’s and 4 Independent MLC’s combined as a majority to vote against a sensible motion to refer this Bill to an Upper House Committee for further consideration. 

“The ALP’s Legislative Council leader, Craig Farrell, even went so far as to say he would not be agreeing to refer this to a Legislative Council committee to resolve legal uncertainties,” 

“This kind of attitude to the formation of legislation should be incredibly alarming to all Tasmanians,” warned Mr Flynn. 

An amendment has since been proposed by independent Ruth Forrest to deal with the Solicitor General's concerns by inserting a Clause 28D to provide that someone other than a female can have a reproductive tract and have an abortion. 

“If the ALP support Ruth Forrest’s amendment and the Bill passes, it will undoubtedly mean the introduction of radical gender ideology instead of good governance,” said acting state director Dan Flynn.   

“It is clearly irresponsible for Labor to vote for this bill without knowing the full implications the changes will have on all Tasmanian legislation that has as a criterion for its application the sex or gender of a person,” commented Mr Flynn.    

The Australian Christian Lobby calls on Labor and all members of the Legislative Council to refer this Bill and any amendments to the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute in order to have the amendments properly scrutinised and the implications fully assessed.