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A Tasmanian Liberal conscience vote on transgender law reform will diffuse potential hate campaigns

By Rodney Croome - posted Thursday, 14 March 2019


So why aren't they?

A recent opinion poll commissioned by the Liberal Party caused me great concern.

As well as being leading and misleading, the poll question explicitly targeted Labor and the Greens.

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On top of that, media outlets seeking comment on the poll were directed by the Liberal Party to its candidates in upcoming elections for federal parliament and for the state Upper House.

These candidates have little or nothing to do with the issue, and in the case of federal candidates won't even vote on the legislation.

It looked like the Liberal Party was using community misunderstanding about transgender reform to give their candidates a boost.

It looked like a return to the politicisation of discrimination.

What re-inforces fears in the LGBTI community that prejudice is being politicised has been the distribution of anti-transgender flyers that misrepresent the current law reform proposals in Liberal Party branches in Hobart, again, just like the 90s.

For me, all this is deeply disappointing because I genuinely believed the Tasmanian Liberal Party had moved on from this kind of thing.

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It has an LGBTI whole-of-government framework that commits it to working with the LGBTI community to reduce "stigma, social isolation, prejudice, harassment and discrimination still experienced by many LGBTI Tasmanians".

It approved an Equality Bench in Parliament Gardens commemorating how far the state has come on LGBTI human rights.

Will Hodgman was the first Liberal Premier in Australia to apologise for former laws criminalising homosexuality and for the hate that found refuge behind those laws.

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This article was first published in the Tasmanian Times.



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About the Author

Rodney Croome is the National Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for his gay rights advocacy. He is co-author of Why vs Why: Gay Marriage.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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