October 21st 2017

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Reality of family unit must underlie tax system

EDITORIAL Christianity today: the challenges ahead

CANBERRA OBSERVED Xenophon: a Mr Fixit or a political yo-yo?

DRUGS POLICY Science elbowed aside in rush for latest silver bullet: 'medical marijuana'

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE Decoys to revolutionary laws redefining sex and marriage

FOREIGN AFFAIRS What is the way out of the Catalan crisis?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Our barmy Army: all politically correct

FAMILY AND SOCIETY The child as weapon in Family Court process

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Faiths and the global future

KOREA Hermit Kingdom versus the Land of Morning Calm

MUSIC Hi-tech lo-fi: Resistance is futile

CINEMA Blade Runner 2049: A cypher unlocking a mystery

BOOK REVIEW The rebels

BOOK REVIEW An attempt to break through the fog


HUMOUR More excerpts from the forthcoming revision of Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods


EUTHANASIA Victoria's death bill: questions that need answers

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE: George Christensen calls Parliament's attention to activists' end-game

EUTHANASIA Victoria mistakes killing for compassion

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Decoys to revolutionary laws redefining sex and marriage

by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, October 21, 2017

Is the national survey about same-sex marriage or fluid gender marriage?

This question goes to the heart of the disconnected debate over redefining marriage and to the looming threat to the freedoms of all Australians, not just religious people.

Ninety-nine per cent of Australians would expect that a “yes” result from the survey would result in the Marriage Act recognising marriage between two men and two women. This is so far from the real meaning of marriage between “two people” (“two persons”) that it’s surreal.

Changes already made to the Federal Sex Discrimination Act (the SDA) in 2013 removed the definition of man and woman as members of the male/female sex and inserted “gender identity” as a protected attribute, thus legally recognising a “person” by their fluid gender identity, that is, by “the gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person (whether by way of medical intervention or not), with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth”.[1]

Consequently, a man can self-identify as a woman and gain legal protection as a woman when he adopts female “mannerisms” (hairstyle, dress, shoes, makeup), without sex reassignment surgery. Then he can apply for women’s-only jobs and education scholarships, for preselection to Parliament under women’s affirmative action policies, for access to women’s-only gyms, sports and domestic violence shelters, as well as women’s toilets and change rooms.

Ironically, the original purpose of the SDA was to eliminate discrimination against women based on their biological sex when women faced the sack for getting married, becoming pregnant or needing time for breastfeeding a baby.

The SDA definition goes even further, legally recognising fluid gender identities like children are discovering on social media, or are being taught in the contested Safe Schools Coalition program. The SDA allows for any of the 58 gender identities listed on Facebook,[2] or choosing a point on a spectrum of male-to-female.

Consequently, gender neutral language is being imposed in areas of the public service; “Male, Female, Indeterminate, Unspecified, Intersex” constitute the new sex descriptor on federally issued passports and all government forms,[3] and on ACT and South Australian birth certificates.[4]

The most profound effect has been in education. The Queensland,[5] NSW,[6] SA[7] and Victorian[8] state education departments have issued transgender policies for state schools saying that if a boy identifies as girl, this biological boy can access the girls’ showers, change rooms, toilets and sports. Education authorities could face prosecution for non-compliance under section 21 of the SDA.[9]

The next step is transgender (or gender-fluid) marriage. Fourteen bills presented to Parliament were for marriage between “two people” regardless of their gender-fluid identity. The bills have come from Bill Shorten, the Greens, some crossbenchers and several Liberals, and been pushed strongly by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Law Council of Australia, dozens of marriage-equality groups and progressive reporters.

I am repeatedly asked by professionals such as lawyers and journalists as well as ordinary Australians: “How come nobody knows about these revolutionary changes transforming every aspect of society?” Masterfully, the transgender lobby has used three decoys to keep the change from biological to gender-fluid recognition of all Australians out of public debate.

First, in 2013, the rainbow lobby demanded that religious aged-care facilities be compelled to care for aged LGBT people under new provisions in the SDA. Religious hospitals and aged-care facilities cater for everyone regardless. So, why the demand for legal enforcement?

This “religious” issue deflected debate away from the far-reaching amendments of Labor Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus that erased the biological definitions of man and woman and inserted fluid “gender identity” into the sex descriptor of every Australian.

The second decoy is the term same-sex marriage, which camouflages the real meaning of marriage between “two people”. It means “two persons” eligible to marry based on any of their fluid gender identities, regardless of their biological sex. This is far more revolutionary than same-sex marriage.

Consequently, state schools will be required also to teach that transgender marriage is legal and that a “person” (including a child) can change their gender identity to something other than their sex at birth.

Women’s prisons will not only be obliged to accommodate rapists and murderers who self-identity as women, as advocated by the Australian Human Rights Commissions’ Resilient Individuals,[10] but if a transgender male-to-female (sex change surgery is not required) finds a partner in the women’s prison, then these “two people” can marry, identify as being in a lesbian marriage and start a family in prison.

Isn’t this the institutionalisation of male dominance over women in the guise of “equality” and “diversity”?

The third decoy is the proposal by Tim Wilson, Fr Frank Brennan and others for “religious freedom” protections.

The primary issue is not religious; it is the erasure of the biological recognition of men and women and the legal enforcement of a radical gender-fluid ideology on every Australian. It’s about transgender marriage and the transgender SDA together violating the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of speech of ordinary citizens, religious or secular, particularly the rights of children, parents and teachers in education, of women, and the rights of workers in their workplaces, and business people providing goods and services.

First and foremost, the central concerns are these threats to the freedom of every Australian to be legally recognised as a biological man or a woman in all areas of public life.

The real question behind the national survey for every Australian is not “do you support same-sex marriage?”, but “do you endorse new laws enforcing authoritarian fluid gender ideology across Australian society, except inside churches?”

Patrick J Byrne is vice-president of the National Civic Council.



[1] Federal Sex Discrimination Act.

[2] Russell Goldman, “Here's a list of 58 gender options for Facebook users”, American ABC News, February 13, 2014. Accessed July 21, 2015.

[3] Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, (2013, Updated 2015), paragraph 19, p4.

[4] ACT: “Birth registration statement”, Australian Capital Territory.

South Australia: “New requirements for registering a change of sex or gender identity”, CBS News, May 24, 2017.

[5] Queensland: “Diversity in Queensland schools: Information for principals”.

[6] NSW: “Transgender students in schools: Legal rights and responsibilities”.

[7] South Australia: “Transgender and intersex student support”.

[8] Victoria: “School policy advisory guide: Gender identity”.

[9] SDA section 21.

[10] Resilient Individuals (2015), Australian Human Rights Commission, p3, 63.

See also male-to-females in prisons:

Janet Fife-Yeomans, “Sex-change killer Maddison Hall to be free as a birdThe Daily Telegraph, April 3, 2010.

Candace Sutton, “Male criminals who become women behind bars”, The Advertiser, April 11, 2013.

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