Amnesty International Australia has expressed concern over a proposal to not allow submissions into the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020, but rather issue a “questionnaire”.
The bill has generated concern within the LGBTQIA+ community as it seeks to deny the very existence of trans people by allowing parents to withdraw their child from a class or program which tells them LGBTQIA+ people are just like everyone else.
“Assessing the effect of the Bill by putting trans and gender diverse children’s human rights to a ‘questionnaire’ is dangerous,” said Amnesty International NSW LGBTQI Network Convenor, Lizzi Price.
“We know that this type of consultation – such as the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey – hurts the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Research from the University of Sydney shows that the Survey led to increased mental stress in the LGBT community. There is no indication of the nature of the questions, nor how the questionnaire’s responses will be tabulated and considered.
“If more than 50% of respondents support the amendments regarding trans and gender diverse students, does that mean that the Committee will support the Bill and recommend that it be passed by the Legislative Council?”
Amnesty International Australia strongly recommends that the committee allows written submissions to be accepted for this inquiry. Given the nature of the Bill, the committee should also seek specific input from trans and gender diverse children, their carers and people and organisations with expertise in supporting trans and gender diverse children.