Archbishop interrupted by protestor at transgender inquiry


A NSW parliamentary inquiry into proposed transgender legislation was momentarily disrupted by a protester, targeting Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher during his testimony.

The interruption occurred as Archbishop Fisher expressed concerns about what he termed an “anti-religious undercurrent” in the legislation.

Pride in Protest activist Quay-Quay Quade, rising to her feet, exclaimed “That’s a load of f**king bullshit”, prompting the live stream of the hearing to be cut. Ms Quade was then removed from the room.

The inquiry, led by Independent MP Alex Greenwich, is reviewing the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023. The bill aims to streamline the process for transgender individuals to change their legal sex on official documents.

One of the key reforms of the bill is the removal of the requirement for a sex affirmation procedure prior to registering a sex change. This has not yet been adopted by any other Australian state or territory.

Under the proposed bill, individuals aged 16 and above could change their legal sex via a statutory declaration. However, Archbishop Fisher expressed concerns that such self-identification could jeopardise women-only spaces and impede religious practices.

Inquiry “a sham”

After the hearing resumed, Archbishop Fisher elaborated on his concerns. He highlighted potential impacts on religious customs such as single-sex prayer, opposite-sex weddings and single-sex schooling.

“It’s one thing to disagree with world religions on such matters, but quite another to deny them the right to practise their faith by making official documents deceptive regarding a person’s biological or birth sex” Fisher said.

Meanwhile, outside parliament, Ms Quade labelled the inquiry a “sham” while supporters echoed chants for equality.

In contrast, activists from the Women’s Rights Network Australia protested against the bill. They argued it would compromise the safety and dignity of women.

Responding to the debate, Greens NSW LGBTIQ+ spokesperson Amanda Cohn asserted that the proposed changes would align NSW with other states and territories. She dismissed the concerns about women’s safety.

The inquiry also heard from the NSW Gender Centre. The group emphasised the importance of legal recognition for transgender individuals. They cited the positive impact on mental well-being and social participation.

The state government, yet to finalise its stance, raised concerns about identity fraud and public safety in its submission to the inquiry.

The committee is expected to deliver its report on the bill in June. This follows a thorough examination of the proposed reforms and stakeholders’ perspectives.


ABC News

CathNews New Zealand

Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , , , ,