Hundreds gather safely to oppose transphobic bill, arrests made

Photo: Patrick Harte

A COVID-19 safe rally against NSW MP Mark Latham’s transphobic Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 was organised on October 10, despite being declared illegal by the NSW Supreme Court the day before. It was organised by Community Action For Rainbow Rights (CARR).

About 400 people assembled, but were moved on by police after trans woman and teacher Genevieve Doyle had finished her speaking.

Peter Murphy, a long-time activist and ‘78er, Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong and the president of Trans Pride Australia, AJ, were all denied their speaking spot because the police issued move-on orders.

Later, on video, AJ said: “This legislation is targeted at vulnerable children. It’s an extreme attack and its impact would be devastating … Every student in NSW has a right to be given the opportunity to reach their full potential, to learn with their peers in an environment free from discrimination and to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. We are here to say ‘Stop this proposed legislation’.”

Leong said on video: “One Nation’s bill seeks to demonise trans kids and trans people. It is nothing short of bullying. Thank you for your commitment to stand with trans- and gender-diverse young people. We call on all NSW MPs to take the same stand.”

Murphy said on video: “It took parliament until 2016 to apologise for the way that participants of the first Mardi Gras were treated. Now, just four years later, they are entertaining the Latham Education Legislation Amendment Bill, which is all about crushing any respect for transgender children and teachers.”

Protesters were wearing masks and hand sanitiser was available. But 13 people were fined. A defence fund has been set up.

Meanwhile, the NSW government is now allowing up to 40,000 people to enter stadiums and hundreds can mingle in shopping centres and in casinos.