October 20th 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Internal strife at Fortress ABC by Peter Westmore

EDITORIAL The state is separating children from families

CANBERRA OBSERVED Liberals are bare favourites for Wentworth

DEREGULATION Sugar growers are getting burned on churned-up playing field

EUROPE Attempt to discipline Hungary divides the EU

CHINA Social Credit System gives complete control of every citizen

EDUCATION Curriculum refinements will not fix schools

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION Banks' failures are a symptom of social malaise

HISTORY Moby Dick and American exceptionalism

SHAKESPEARE Tick-tock: clues to the timeless appear of the Bard

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Trump to UN: we'll do it our way; you do it yours

MUSIC Well-tempered scale: might put an alien in a bad temper

CINEMA Alpha: Beautiful beginnings

BOOK REVIEW Essays towards reconstruction

BOOK REVIEW Can society survive the decay of religion?


CLIMATE CHANGE Hockey 1, hockey 2: Good science contradicts IPCC's two-degree alarmism

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The state is separating children from families

by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, October 20, 2018


  • Gender identity laws and court rulings are being used to separate children from parents
  • More legislation is planned
  • If you can change your sex, can you change your age or race?

When Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently tweeted, “we don’t need ‘gender whisperers’ in schools”, he should have been congratulated, not attacked, for alerting parents to how governments are interfering in Australian families.

His comment was in regard to NSW teachers being trained to spot potential transgender students in classrooms. Some experts claim this has contributed to a 236 per cent surge in the number of kids wanting to change sex in the past three years.

This intrusion follows laws that redefine the human person by their gender identity in place of their sex, and courts treating children as “mature minors” to override the right of parents to determine the education of their children.

The biggest legislative change came with amendments to the federal Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) in 2013 that removed the biological definitions of “man” and “woman” from the act to allow for a person to be recognised, not by their sex, but by their fluid gender identity.

Days after the act was changed, the federal Attorney-General’s Department issued guidelines requiring that all official federal government documents, including passports, allow a person to self-identify as M, F, X (Indeterminate, Unspecified, Intersex).

Indeterminate means any fluid gender identity, like the 58 listed on Facebook, or at a point on a scale from 100 per cent male to 100 per cent female. Unspecified means no sex or gender. Intersex is a not a sex, but a disorder/difference of sexual development.

You may think that choosing M or F still means you are being recognised by your self-evident at-birth biological sex. Not so. The range of choices means that if you tick M then you only self-identify as male, a cisgender term by which a person only “chooses” to identify as male.

Does it really matter if you only “self-identify” with your sex? Yes, it does matter. Historically, a person’s sex defined what school they attended, access to change rooms, shower facilities and competitive sport, sex-specific medical treatments, access to, say, female-only gyms and clubs, and were grounds for complaints and prosecuting discrimination charges.

Now under the SDA, a man has only to self-identify as female to legally claim the same rights as biological women, and other women are obliged to respect those rights. Teachers, counsellors, doctors and people in many professions and walks of life can face discrimination charges, loss of professional qualifications and employment for not recognising a person by their gender identity.

Further, government authorities, gender clinics and activists are invoking a legal principal called “mature minor”. This has been accepted into Australian jurisprudence following the 1985 UK Gillick case. It ruled that, while children can be guided by their parents, a child has a right to autonomy, which develops as the child grows and their capacity for making decisions grows. In transgender theory, this is called “child agency”.

Consequently, school authorities and other organisations have claimed the right to assist children to transgender, and make other decisions, without parental consent.

In NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, education department policies give teachers the right to treat a child as a “mature minor” in regard to gender transitioning.

As part of a bold social experiment to redefine sex and what it means to be human, various federal, state and territory anti-discrimination laws, South Australian and ACT birth registration laws and the 2017 amendments to the federal Marriage Act, all attribute rights to people on the basis of their gender identity, not their sex.

Further changes are planned.

  • The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia is conducting an inquiry to change the state’s birth registration laws to recognise people by their gender identity. Submissions close on October 19.
  • The Queensland Government plans legal changes to recognise a person by their gender identity on birth certificates.
  • The Northern Territory Attorney-General is conducting an inquiry to change the Territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act to remove the biological definitions of man and woman, insert “gender identity”, and have few if any exemptions for sports, schools, religious and other organisations.
  • The Australian Labor Party’s National Platform says that, in government, it will legislate to make it “domestic violence against the child” for parents to encourage a child with gender dysphoria to wait until adulthood before medically transitioning.

Further, while the Victorian Government has couched its doctors and lawyers in schools policy as assisting children, it is open to conflict with the rights of parents by giving doctors and lawyers the right to determine if a child is a “mature minor” and to give medical treatment and legal advice to children without parental consent.

Few legislators have asked the question: if children are “mature minors” capable of making far-reaching medical decisions, are such children mature enough to drive a car, drink alcohol, leave school and work or join the military?

Or, more fundamentally, if they can change their sex, can they change their age, race or species?

It is time that age-of-consent laws took precedence over the Gillick principle and that humans were recognised in law by their biological sex, not their gender identity.

Patrick J Byrne of national president of the National Civic Council and author of the book, Transgender: One Shade of Grey (2018)

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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