Australian PM Scott Morrison has slammed Tasmania’s new gender law. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Australian PM Scott Morrison has slammed Tasmania’s new gender law. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Morrison trashes new gender law

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has lashed out at a new Tasmanian law that would see parents given the option of not displaying their baby's sex on a birth certificate.

Mr Morrison took to Twitter this morning to slam the push as "ridiculous", despite the proposed change being praised by the transgender community.

The bill proposing amendments to gender markers on birth certificates passed Tasmania's lower house on Tuesday night with support from Labor and the Greens.

Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey helped push the motion through by voting against her party.

The prime minister clearly wasn't impressed by the result and criticised opposition leader Bill Shorten for Labor's support of the proposed change.

"Labor's plan to remove gender from birth certificates in Tasmania is ridiculous," Mr Morrison said in a tweet.

"Bill Shorten should step up and commit to put motion to ALP Federal Conference to outlaw it."

The bill also allows people 16 or older to change the gender on their birth certificate by filling out a statutory declaration.

Transforming Tasmania, a transgender and gender-diverse rights group, has lauded the changes.

Mr Morrison slammed the changes as ‘ridiculous’. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Mr Morrison slammed the changes as ‘ridiculous’. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

"I applaud the Tasmanian lower house for providing greater equity, dignity and hope for transgender, gender diverse and intersex Tasmanians," spokesperson Roen Meijers said.

Labor's justice spokeswoman, Ella Haddad, said it was a great outcome on the back of the marriage equality vote that won't diminish the rights of others.

Liberal Attorney-General Elise Archer said there are still major issues with the bill.

"This amended bill contains legally untested, unconsulted and highly problematic changes that we could not support," she said in a statement.

Despite Labor backing the Tasmanian bill, Mr Shorten said that the ALP has "no plans" to remove gender markers from birth certificates or other identifying documents if elected, according to The Australian.

Activist groups have praised the decision as a big step for the transgender community. Picture: Supplied
Activist groups have praised the decision as a big step for the transgender community. Picture: Supplied

"No, no … it's nonsense, no plans to do that," he told reporters last month.

"The relative number of people who are trans is about 1200 people in Australia. That's about one in every 200,000.

"That's important for them but I just wonder why conservatives get so obsessed by other people's sexuality."

Another bill was also passed to extend Tasmania's anti-discrimination hate speech laws to include "gender expression" and ensure transgender people had their correct names and honorifics used.

The amendments come as part of a bill that puts an end to transgender people having to divorce before than can get their gender changed on official documents.

The proposed changes must still pass Tasmania's upper house of mostly independents before becoming law.



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