“Cruel” politicians fuel the trans debate | the islander
Cruel politicians are driving Australia’s national debate on transgender girls and women in competitive sport, Victoria’s premier has said.
Daniel Andrews has gone to bat for trans children taking part in school sports competitions, attacking the federal coalition for backing Warringah candidate Katherine Deves after her long history of transphobic comments emerged.
“It seems to me that the adults in this debate are on the whole more cruel than the children, and that’s a damning accusation for those pushing this,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“What’s next? A trans girl can’t play a female role in the school play? Like, is that the biggest problem in our country today? I don’t don’t think that’s the case.
“Only desperate people, who are into corner politics, who are trying to look away from the fact that they have been in power for almost a decade and have done precisely nothing with it, would push this. “
The premier argued that sports bodies had already established protocols for trans women competing at professional and elite amateur levels, and suggested the school sport aspect was not an issue.
He said no school community, parent or teacher had broached the subject with him in his 20 years in the Victorian Parliament.
“Trans kids are 15 times more likely to self-harm. I don’t think this debate is doing these young Victorians any good, or their parents,” Mr Andrews said.
“It’s not easy being trans. There’s a lot of stigma. There’s a lot of prejudice. I don’t think adding to that is particularly nice. I think it’s cruel, actually. “
In Queensland, the Greens have criticized State Deputy Robbie Katter’s threat to ban trans athletes from competing in women’s sport.
On Friday, Australia’s Party MP for Katter threatened to introduce legislation in Queensland if the next federal government does not introduce a nationwide ban within 90 days of its formation.
Green MP Amy McMahon said transgender people already face widespread discrimination, hatred and even violence on a daily basis.
“This kind of blatant discrimination is what we expect from parties that have run out of ideas and have lost touch,” she told AAP on Sunday.
Comment has been sought from the Queensland Labor government, which is unlikely to support a ban and generally supports transgender rights.
Chosen by Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the seat in Sydney’s north, Ms Deves campaigned to ban transgender women from playing in women’s leagues, likening her protests to an attempt to stop the Holocaust.
She apologized for her lengthy comments but avoided the media on Friday night during a “pub politics” event at Forestville RSL.
Mr Morrison said Ms Deves knew a ‘sensitive approach’ was needed going forward to discuss trans athletes in women’s and women’s sport, and defended her refusal to face the press kit.
“It’s not that common for those who are local candidates to be involved in national press conferences,” the prime minister said in Alice Springs.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said last week that his party’s stance was in line with the Sex Discrimination Act, putting him at odds with Mr Andrews.
“It’s covered that girls should be able to play sports against girls and boys should be able to play sports against boys,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
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Australian Associated Press