Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has denied that a Shorten government would remove gender birth certificates telling reports at a press conference in Melbourne today “No, no … it’s nonsense, no plans to do that”.
Shorten was asked about this after a Miranda Devine column in the Daily Telegraph today analyzing the draft ALP national policy platform to be put forward at their national conference in December.
Devine assisted by The Australian’s Economics Editor Adam Creighton tallied all the various references to the LGBT issues throughout the Labor policy document. She counted 64 mentions of “sexual orientation”, 59 of “intersex”, 42 of “LGBTI”, 36 of “transgender”, 33 of “bisexual”, 31 of “lesbian”, 29 of “gay”, 138 of “gender”, 19 of “gender identity” of “gender pay gap”, 27 of “diversity” and 42 of “identity”.
She also highlighted Labor’s pledge to establish in the Human Rights Commission “a new Commissioner for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status issues” as well as pledges to fight transphobia, biphobia and homophobia.
Later on in the column Devine highlights that Labor in their policy platform has pledged to adopt the “Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics”.
“Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 (YP+10)” first developed by human rights activists in the Indonesian town of Yogyakarta in 2006 have been updated in the past year and now called for governments to to remove gender from all birth certificates, passports and driver’s licences.
It also states governments should be obligated to affirm each person’s self-defined gender identity, women’s sports cannot exclude self-identifying women, gender neutral facilities must be provided, prisoners can choose which gender facilities they are placed in and on asylum seekers governments must accept the sexual orientation and gender identity of those seeking asylum of a self identification basis.
Despite Shorten’s denials today the Tasmanian Labor Party have teamed up with the Greens to support a bill before the state parliament championed by the local LGBT lobby that would require gender to be removed from a birth certificate. A person wishing to have their biological gender listed on their birth certificate would have to sign a statutory declaration or if they are under 16 a parent would have to sign it.
Labor in government in Victoria and Queensland are already supportive of people being able to change their gender on their birth certificate to any gender they choose on a self identification basis but what is before the Tasmanian Parliament and in Labor’s National Platform is even more radical.
Scott Morrison tweeted that Labor was ” obsessed with nonsense like removing gender from birth certificates rather than lower electricity prices, reducing tax for hard-working families and small businesses”. Western Australian Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has called removing gender from birth certificates “tearing at the fabric of the universe”. Bill Shorten has responded by stating “I just wonder why conservatives get so obsessed by other people’s sexuality”.
Regardless of what Shorten says, today it is clear from Labor’s own policies and the actions of its state counterpart that it is willing to accommodate any request from professed LGBT activists no matter how extreme they are.