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Motion on transgender woman playing sport splits Queensland Parliament


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Queensland Parliament has voted down a motion from Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) that called on MPs to agree that allowing transgender women to play in women’s leagues would “erode” their integrity and women’s rights.

KAP leader Robbie Katter opened the short and tense debate by saying he was well aware the motion would attract “a lot of ire and a lot of anger”.

“I think this is important for parents — I’m a parent of some young girls who will be hopefully participating in some sport one day … to imagine them 15 or 17 years old, post-puberty, competing against the odd person who might want to transfer to being female, that doesn’t sit well with me,” he said.

“That’s not to deny that person an opportunity to play sport — they’re welcome to play sport, and they should enjoy a great life in sport — but there’s a distinct advantage when you cross over.”


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Mr Katter said it was important to introduce the motion, because voters needed to know where people stand on social issues in the context of the federal election.

No one from the LNP spoke on the motion, but when it came time to vote, the party supported it.

Mr Katter said he was trying to approach the subject “with the utmost respect for the other side of the argument”.

“You try and be tolerant of other people’s views,” Mr Katter said.

“But it seems always curious to me that you’re not always afforded that same level of tolerance and always invoke the word ‘bigot’ and ‘hate speech’.

“This is nothing against anyone who falls in that category of transgender — God loves them all and welcomes them all.”

The Liberal candidate for the Sydney seat of Warringah, Katherine Deves, has come under fire during the federal election campaign for controversial comments she made about transgender people.

Katherine Deves holds the position that gender reassignment is “mutilation.”(Supplied)

Katter’s Australian Party’s motion read:

That this House supports women’s rights by agreeing that:

1. allowing biological men to play in female sport will erode the integrity of female sport;

2. Anyone who biologically supports men playing in female sport, irrespective of age group, level or code, is complicit in eroding the integrity of female sport and therefore women’s rights;

3. based on their insurmountable physical advantages, biological males participating in female sport pose an unfair competitive advantage against, and/or safety risk against female athletes

‘Attempt to cause fear and division’

Queensland’s Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the government rejected the premise of the motion and would not be supporting it.

“I’m surprised the KAP are using their relatively rare private members’ motion opportunities on this issue, rather than something more relevant to regional Queenslanders.

“It’s not the role of the state to determine who can and cannot participate in sport based on any factor and gender identity is one of those.

Stirling Hinchliffe
Mr Hinchliffe and Labor voted against the motion.(AAP: Dan Peled)

“This parliament making blanket decisions purely based on gender identity is not only draconian and whiskered, but unwarranted.

“[It is] indeed against every key concept of inclusion that stands at the heart of everything that we do as a government and that I hope everyone across this parliament can embrace.”

‘We didn’t ask for your protection’

A handful of MPs made further contributions to the debate, which lasted only about 30 minutes.

KAP’s Member for Hinchinbrook, Nick Dametto, said the party’s motion was about protecting women’s sport, and he welcomed codes like the National Rugby League Women being pushed into the limelight.

“To think after this we’re going to see an opportunity for guys that may now identify as women putting on a wig and jumping into women’s sport because maybe they’re washed up at the NRL — this could happen,” he said, prompting audible protests from other members in the chamber.

Katter's Australian Party Queensland MP's Shane Knuth, Robbie Katter, and Nick Dametto
KAP’s Queensland MP’s Shane Knuth (left), Mr Katter (centre) and Mr Dametto (right).(AAP: Darren England)

At one point, Labor’s Member for Pumicestone Ali King called out: “Women don’t want your protection, we didn’t ask for your protection.”

‘disgusting’

One Nation’s single member in the state parliament, Steve Andrew, voted in support of the bill and told parliament it was not about politics but women’s right to compete fairly.

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