Australian politicians are lining up to back a bill that would allow trans women to be banned from female sports – including the country’s prime minister Scott Morrison.
According to The Guardian Australia, several politicians have supported a proposed bill led by Liberal backbencher Claire Chandler and supported by Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, which will allow sporting groups and clubs to exclude trans women from single-sex sports.
Liberal Queensland senator Matt Canavan reportedly told the newspaper: “I support senator Chandler’s bill.”
He added: “I think [the bill] represents millions of Australians, especially Australian women who don’t want to see their daughters work hard, try hard, get up early to become the elite at their [sport] and then someone with a clear biological advantage can just beat them.”
South Australian Liberal senator Alex Antic referenced the bill in an email to supporters, alleging that the Labor Party “are already pushing for this ideological agenda to be taught in schools, they want men to be able to play in women’s sports, enter women’s private spaces and erode the sex-based rights and protections of Australian women and girls”.
Morrison also seemed to support the bill, stating that he “shares” the views of Chandler and Deves with regards to the proposed legislation, however he has since said that there are no plans to expand the bill in parliament.
He explained that the proposal >was only a private member’s bill and that “the government doesn’t have any plans for that to be a government bill.”
Several scientists and athletes have spoken out about global proposed bans on trans women competing in sports, arguing that trans women do not necessarily have an advantage over cis women.
A spokesperson for trans youth charity Mermaids said: “Trans women do not have an unfair advantage in sports and their participation does not harm trans women.
“To even be considered eligible to compete at an elite level, female trans athletes must undergo hormone therapy and rigorous testing for at least a year prior to training and competing.