Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader
The Liberals tonight voted down the Greens' Births Deaths and Marriages Registration (No Forced Divorce) Amendment Bill 2014, despite knowing it forces loving couples to divorce if one partner is transgender and seeks to change their Birth certificate to reflect their gender identity.
In March this year, the UN Human Rights Committee found the identical legal framework to Tasmania's - in NSW - is in breach of the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights, specifically the right to privacy and family (Article 17), and the right to freedom from discrimination (Article 26).
The State Party (Australia) has until December 15 this year to respond to the UN decision. These discriminatory laws in six Australian jurisdictions will have to change.
We provided the Parliament with an opportunity today to do the right thing by transgender Tasmanians but the Liberals just could not bring themselves to do so.
Instead, they are pushing ahead with an amendment Bill to weaken protections under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998, which is likely to be debated in the Legislative Council tomorrow.
Only the ACT and South Australia have moved to repeal their forced divorce laws with a total of six Australian jurisdictions remaining in breach of the UN Convention.
The provisions we sought to amend today are cruel and discriminatory.
The Tasmanian Liberals want to force one cohort of loving couples to divorce, but say they are defenders of marriage.
The irony and contradiction here won't be lost on transgender Tasmanians.
The Greens will bring this amendment Bill on for debate again in the next term of Parliament and hope there are Liberal MPs who are prepared to vote with their conscience to protect the human rights of transgender Tasmanians and their families.