Inquiry prioritises transgender ideology

Last week, the Australian Human Rights Commission launched a national project mapping “current and emerging threats to trans and gender diverse (TGD) human rights in Australia”. The project will focus on “actions, circumstances, events, forces, groups, situations, trends, and other phenomena that endanger or violate TGD human rights”.

The focus of the project includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:

  • Anti-trans mobilisation, dis- and misinformation, and extremism and radicalisation 
  • Education, employment, healthcare, housing, migration, service provision and the law 
  • Non-personal information relating to anti-TGD abuse, discrimination, harassment, vilification and violence 

The AHRC has stated that it will only accept submissions from ‘subject matter experts’, that is, individuals and civil society organisations with “relevant background, expertise and lived experience in issues impacting TGD people”.

This is a completely subjective test for eligibility, effectively leaving the matter of who qualifies as a ‘subject matter expert’ to the Commissioners to decide, and will inevitably exclude many people in the community from providing submissions, despite the fact that gender ideology impacts them profoundly. 

Someone who does have relevant expertise is Queensland child psychiatrist and HRLA client Dr Jillian Spencer, who said “the inquiry fails to focus on how the rights of transgender people intersect with the rights of women and children”:

“All they seem to want is for the transgender community to voice any bad experiences they’ve had, and they don’t want to look at the whole rights issue for the whole of the community,”

In her submission to the inquiry, Dr Spencer has said that “one of the greatest threats to Australians experiencing gender dysphoria was gender-affirming care”:

“Some doctors providing the affirmation model lack the clinical skills to successfully engage a young person in therapy to help them explore and overcome their gender dysphoria.

These unskilled health professionals instead collude with the young person to ignore the underlying issues driving the gender dysphoria and they sell their patient a pretend solution of body modification.”

The Australian Human Rights Commission is a government body that receives public funding and the inquiry it is conducting is funded by taxpayers. It is an organisation that has a legal obligation to support all human rights.

University of Queensland law professor Patrick Parkinson has said that the “terms of reference “nail the AHRC’s colours firmly to an ideological mast” and indicate the commission has aligned with “particularly active and powerful lobby groups””.

“To launch an inquiry which is intended to gather evidence to support the claims and talking points of one lobby group is in my view a serious misuse of taxpayer funds.”

The inquiry’s terms of reference fail to acknowledge other competing human rights or the potential for “TGD” human rights to trump other rights.

There are many in the community who are concerned about the impact of transgender rights and their impact on the rights of women and children, including the right to women’s only spaces and women’s sports, as well as issues concerning the medical treatment of minors. Raising these issues or speaking up about them should never be allowed to fall within the category of ‘anti-trans mobilisation' or spreading ‘disinformation or misinformation’.

For more information about the inquiry, see the inquiry home page.