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Concern Over Allowing Queenslanders To Change Their Sex On Birth Certificates

by | Tue, Jan 31 2023

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The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has accused the Queensland government of trying to sneak through a bill that allows any Queenslander over 16 to change their sex on their birth certificate.

ACL State Director Rob Norman told Vision Radio the government was being “disingenuous” in its approach to what he termed as a “dangerous and irresponsible law.”

He noted its release by State Attorney General Shannon Fentiman on the last Parliamentary sitting day of 2022 on December 2 and subsequent referral to a committee with a deadline of January 11 for public submissions, meant that it was timed for the least possible scrutiny.

Mr. Norman also observed: “The government knew this bill would be contentious. Despite also being the Minister for Women, in introducing the Bill to Parliament, Ms. Fentiman took aim at concerned feminist movements, stating, ‘some groups will try to cloak their transphobia in the guise of women’s safety’.”

“However, the government’s attempt to silence legitimate and evidence-based concerns has failed, with their policy and direction on gender and sex-related legislation questioned by many groups including the Queensland Law Society which has called for an audit of all state legislation and policies referring to “sex” or “gender”, in order to clarify rules,” Mr. Norman said.

He added: “If successful, this Bill will essentially legalise the falsification of Birth Certificates. Sex is not a social attribute that can be changed on a whim or a feeling. It is defined by biology and immutable. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, our ‘sex’ is defined as being the “biological and physiological characteristics that define humans as female or male”.

The ACL Queensland Director explained that the “consequences of falsifying the facts surrounding the live birth of a person are far reaching and have serious consequences, providing opportunity, even for male sexual predators, to legally change their sex by simply filling in a form to gain access to female only spaces.”

He pointed out what he considered two glaring consequences relating to parental rights and women’s safety.

Any person under 18 is considered a minor in Queensland, but the proposed law allows children over 16 to apply to alter their record of sex without the consent of a parent or legal guardian while children as young as 12 can “apply to alter the record of sex of the child if the child has obtained an order from the Children’s Court.

Mr. Norman said the Bill provides opportunity for sexual predators to change their sex by simply filling in a form to legally falsify their sex and gain access to female-only spaces. This includes public toilets, change rooms, women’s shelters, and women’s prisons.

He notes that feminist and lesbian groups have also expressed concern over women’s safety.

The ACL has made a public submission to the committee reviewing this Bill. You can read the submission here.