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Concerns Over Queensland Making It Easy To Change One’s Sex On Birth Certificates

by | Tue, Apr 18 2023

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The Queensland Parliament is this week due to debate a bill that will allow any state resident over 16 to change their sex on their birth certificate by just filling in a form which is the case in most other states.

Children as young as 12 could apply to the courts to do so even without parental support.

The state government claims the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill will modernise birth certificates and better recognise the state’s diverse community.

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is alarmed that it seems likely to pass without any amendments.

Acting Managing Director Wendy Francis described the bill to Vision Radio as “awful.”

“I guess the most extreme part of this bill is that it will allow biological males to change their sex to female by simply filling in a form. It’s just a simple form to fill in. So of course, if you fill in that form, you’re now legally known as a female, [it] gives you access to all the female-only spaces that we have and some of the most important female-only spaces we have are domestic violence shelters, women’s prisons and women’s sports teams,” Ms. Francis asserted.

She accused the state government of trying to sneak through the bill by introducing it on the last parliamentary sitting day of 2022 with a deadline for public submissions on January 11 when many people were still in holiday mode.

“This just shows how insincere the government is about truly listening to people’s opinions because the committee that looked at it, they actually received over 170 submissions that opposed this bill. And we’re not talking about just people of faith either. We’re talking about many feminist groups that are opposing this bill as well,” Ms. Francis contended.

Katter’s Australian Party which has three state MPs is strongly opposed to the bill, but the Opposition lacks the numbers to stop the bill being passed.

“It’s important for the Members of Parliament to stand up for what is true and what is right, because then, you know, when we do have a change of government, we can go back and say, okay you stood up for this. We need to win this back because women are not feeling safe in their own spaces anymore. So we’re grateful to the Katter Party, hoping that others will join them in opposing this bill. But it doesn’t look promising because the Government has the numbers and they’re saying that they’ll push it through no matter what other people say,” Ms. Francis conceded.

The ACL National Politics Director lamented the lack of a Queensland Upper House which she claimed had been exposed in the handling of this bill.

“It’s one of the real concerns about not having an Upper House. And so the committee process is supposed to actually fix that now. But when the committee process is so deaf to listening to the people, then there is no real house of review at all. The committee process was supposed to fill that position. It has failed spectacularly in this area, but in many other areas as well. So it is hard for people not to feel jaded by the practice in Queensland that there is no real opportunity for people to speak into some of these really important bills,” Ms. Francis observed.