Scott Morrison backs Liberal candidate lobbying against transgender women playing women’s sports

Scott Morrison says he agrees with a newly announced Liberal candidate who has been lobbying to stop transgender women from competing in women’s sport.

Katherine Deves is running in the seat of Warringah, which is currently held by independent MP Zali Steggall.

Ms Deves is the co-founder and spokeswoman for a group that wants to limit participation in women’s sport to those who were born female.

Mr Morrison has endorsed Ms Deves’ campaign. And said he “welcomed” Katherine’s selection.

Ms Deves was one of 12 candidates who was hand-picked by Mr Morrison and the federal executive during the bitter NSW pre-selection battle.

“I’m very pleased to play a role in that,” he said.

“I think she raised very important issues and I think Claire Chandler’s also been outspoken and brave on these issues.

Tasmanian senator Claire Chandler has also been an outspoken advocate against transgender women participating in women’s sport.

Earlier this year she introduced a private member’s bill to change the Sex Discrimination Act to allow sporting groups and clubs to exclude transgender women from single-sex sports.

Claire Chandler, Tasmanian Liberal party member.
Claire Chandler is a senator for Tasmania.(ABC News: Emilie Gramenz)

“For the avoidance of any doubt, references to ‘sex’ refer to biological sex and the intention of this clause is to provide certainty that operating single-sex sport – sporting activity exclusively for either females or males — is not a breach of the Act,” the explanation of the bill states.

“A person’s gender/gender identity/gender expression has no bearing on their sex.”

Mr Morrison described Senator Chandler’s bill as “terrific”.

“I’ve given her great encouragement,” he said.

“I mean, Claire is a champion for women’s sport, and I think she’s been right to raise these issues in the way that she has. Well done Claire.”

Mr Morrison did not say, when asked, if he would introduce legislation to ban transgender women from female sports if the government was re-elected.

Instead, he said that if he had more to say about the issue another time then he would deal with it then.”

A profile image of a woman with short brown hair.
Anna Brown says politicians should not use members of the LGBTIQ+ community as a political football.(Photo supplied: Equality Australia)

Equality Australia, a national LGBTIQ+ advocacy group, said politicians should not use members of the LGBTIQ+ community as a “political football”.

“This election, candidates cannot afford to take LGBTIQ+ voters for granted,” Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, said.

“After a series of divisive debates focused on the lives of LGBTIQ+ people, many of our community have become sceptical of the political parties and are yet to make up their mind about who they’ll vote for.

“This election, parties and candidates must act to address issues of concern to LGBTIQ+ people if they are to win back the support of the voters they’ve lost and to build support amongst those that are undecided.”

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