April 21st 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The deeper causes of Australia's social malaise

GENDER POLITICS Queensland proposes transgender birth certificates

CANBERRA OBSERVED Malcolm at 30 (polls): the cloud on Turnbull's horizon

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell firmly denies sex abuse allegations

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Sydney Archdiocese aims to eliminate slavery in supply chain

RURAL DEVELOPMENT Irrigation along Fitzroy River proposed and opposed

LIFE ISSUES Abortion Rethink Summit: the case for care

VERBATIM WA food, drink producers face shortage of carbon dioxide

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY Land costs: economist Henry George's solution

ELECTRICITY Will Turnbull lose three out of three?

ECONOMICS Trade wars: tariffs unlikely to be fired in anger

SEX AND TEENS How about support for the abstaining majority?

VISUAL ARTS Layers of meaning in Botticelli's La Primavera and The Birth of Venus

MUSIC Is it good?: Or, do we just like the sound it makes?

CINEMA The Death of Stalin: Black comedy of a dark time

BOOK REVIEW Cool head on topic that generates heat

BOOK REVIEW Life's not so bad: from the outside



OPINION What a republic would really mean for Australia

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Queensland proposes transgender birth certificates

by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, April 21, 2018


  • Men/boys can self-identify as women/girls
  • If you can change your sex, can you change your age, race?
  • In the name of “diversity”, “uniformity” imposed on everyone
  • More rights threatened than under same-sex marriage

The Queensland Government of Annastacia Palaszczuk is proposing to change birth certificates to allow people to register as Male, Female, Indeterminate, Unspecified or Intersex.

A discussion paper from Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath says that Queensland should follow the ACT and South Australia, which have adopted these new forms of birth certificates.

The paper fails to point out that strong opposition from feminists saw the Tasmanian Human Rights Commission drop a similar proposal, while the Victorian Upper House voted down transgendering Victorian birth certificates in 2016. When Victorian opposition parliamentarians asked, “if a person can change their sex, can they also change their age or change their race?” Labor members had no answer.

The Queensland push has come from transgenders who say that requiring a person to undergo sex change surgery to change their sex on their birth certificate discriminates against people who identity as opposite to their sex at birth or as having some other gender identity.

The D’Ath discussion paper, “Registering life events: Recognising sex and gender diversity and same-sex families”,[1] defines gender identity as a person’s “deeply felt internal and individual identity … refers to outward social markers, including their name, outward appearance, mannerisms and dress.”

But feelings can be vague and subject to moods, permanent, occasional or fleeting, past or present, different in the future. Feelings can reflect reality (I’m a biological male and feel like a man), or they can reflect illusions (that magician “really” made a pigeon appear from nowhere), or can be delusional (I’m God). Feelings are mutable, changeable, ambiguous (open to many interpretations).

Changing one’s appearance can involve a total change of appearance to identify as a different gender, or partial change, or minimal change. Outward appearances can be permanent, temporary or for social occasions only; they can be a fashion statement of “the new black;” or the person may intend to make a statement on identity politics in opposition to the state identifying people as either male or female only.

In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–5 (2013), the American Psychiatric Association classes gender dysphoria as a psychological disorder alongside anorexia nervosa.

The D’Ath discussion paper says that “sex is not defined” in the state’s Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration law. But until now sex did not have to be defined; it was self-evident, the biological reality of male and female.

The discussion paper says that some people are “intersex”, implying that sex cannot be defined. This is incorrect. Intersex is a disorder of sexual development. As feminist philosopher Rebecca Riley-Cooper, says: “The fact that some humans are intersex in no way diminishes the truth of sexual dimorphism [occurring in two distinct forms], any more than the fact that some humans are born missing lower limbs diminishes the truth of the statement that humans are bipedal [beings using only two legs for walking].”[2]

The consequences of allowing a person to “self-identify” their gender identity has far-reaching consequences in all areas covered by Queensland law. If a boy or man can be recognised as a girl or woman, without sex-change surgery, then such a biological male can:

  • Access female toilets, showers and change rooms, denying biological girls and women their right to privacy and risking their safety from any man vexatious male.
  • Attend female-only schools.
  • Access female-only dormitories and school camps.
  • Access female-only sports, clubs, gyms, domestic violence shelters and women’s safe spaces.
  • Apply for women’s jobs, scholarships and preselection for Parliament under women’s affirmative action policies.

Male-to-female prisoners can claim the right to be accommodated in female-only prisons.

Then comes the demand for gender-neutral language, so as not to “discriminate” against transgenders. For example, the Victorian Government’s Inclusive Language Guide (2016),[3] urges public-sector employees to use gender-neutral terminology, stating that a married person should be referred to as “partner … where the gender, sexual orientation or relationship status of a person is unknown”.

Eliminated are all terms that recognise the vast majority of people who regard themselves as naturally, immutably, biologically male or female. Ironically, in the name of “diversity”, the transgender view of human sexual identity imposes “uniformity” on everyone.

In place of the gender-specific pronouns he/she, him/her, the Guide calls for the use of the gender-neutral pronouns zie/hir. For example, instead of “he/she went out for lunch”, “zie went out for lunch”. Instead of “his/her boy plays football”, “hir child plays football”. This is being imposed on everyone.

A request by a person to be addressed by these pronouns being acceded to for politeness sake and out of respect for the person’s feelings does not mean it should be required by policy or law. That is what Jordan Peterson calls “forced speech” and is an example of how transgender ideology is stripping away freedoms.

Undermined, if not eliminated, are the rights, protections, privileges and access to services that men and women have enjoyed on the basis of their sex.

All who regard themselves as naturally, immutably, biologically male or female are discriminated against for the sake of a tiny minority of transgenders.

Worse still, people who fail to comply risk prosecution and loss of professional registration. At stake are the jobs of teachers, principals, people running public swimming pools, gyms, clubs, and women’s shelters/refuges, people awarding women’s scholarships, public servants and people in many other jobs.

In short, more freedoms and liberties are at risk from transgendering birth certificates (and anti-discrimination laws) than from same-sex marriage.

Birth certificates are supposed to be an objective, accurate record of a person’s identity, age and relationships. By replacing the biological sex identifier with gender-identity terms, birth certificates are turned into fluid, changeable identity documents.


[2] Rebecca Riley-Cooper, “Sex and gender, a beginner’s guide”.

[3] Inclusive Language Guide, Victorian Government, August 11, 2016, p1. Accessed 9 July, 2017.

Patrick J. Byrne is national president of the National Civic Council.

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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