Statement from Equality Tasmanian on Jeremy Rockliff becoming Tasmanian Premier

President of Equality Tasmania, Rodney Croome, said Jeremy Rockliff is one of the strongest and most effective advocates for LGBTIQ+ equality and inclusion in the Tasmania Parliament.

“Jeremy Rockliff understands the harm discrimination against LGBTIQ+ can cause and has a twenty year track record challenging that discrimination.”

“Mr Rockliff voted for Tasmania’s gold-standard Anti-Discrimination Act, laws recognising same-sex couples and their families, the principle of marriage equality and legislation to expunge historical gay and transgender criminal records.”

“He has also strongly supported LGBTIQ+ inclusion and equity initiatives in his roles as Education Minister and then Health Minister.”

“We look forward to working with him to foster a fairer and more inclusive Tasmania.”

Mr Croome said new deputy premier, Michael Ferguson, has opposed equality for LGBTIQ+ people including same-sex adoption and marriage.

“Our hope is that Mr Ferguson will gain greater insight into the disadvantages faced by LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians, and our aspiration to equality, in his work with Premier Rockliff.”

For more contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.


Tasmanian intersex advocates have joined the outcry against Senator Claire Chandler’s “Save Women’s Sport Bill” that allows the exclusion of some women from women’s sport.

Tasmanian mother of an intersex child, and Intersex Peer Support Australia Tasmanian board member, Simone-lisa Anderson, said the Bill will allow discrimination against Intersex people.

“Claire Chandler’s Bill seeks to define sex purely in terms of binary sex and then allows for anyone who doesn’t conform to this narrow definition to be discriminated against.”

“Not only does that exclude trans women from playing women’s sport, it also excludes intersex people who have variations in their sex organs, hormones or chromosomes.”

“Whether this is an unintended consequence of the Bill, or a deliberate and cruel way to segregate intersex people, the Bill must be withdrawn.”

“As a parent of someone in the up-to-1.7% of Tasmanians who are intersex, I know how bad the discrimination, stigma and abuse can be without the added burden of being excluded from sport.”

Ms Anderson said it was a sad irony that Senator Chandler’s Bill has hit the headlines in the same week that Tasmanian intersex advocate and Longford chicken breeder, Rob Wilson, was on national TV show, ABC Backroads, telling his personal story of discrimination and stigma.

“I urge Senator Chandler to watch Rob Wilson’s story so she has a better grasp on the deep damage her Bill will cause intersex people.”

Senator Chandler’s Bill amends the Sex Discrimination to…
a) limit the definition to sex to the chromosomal, hormonal, gonadal and anatomical characteristics traditionally associated with binary biological sex, and
b) allow discrimination in sport, and potentially services, against women not born with those specific sex characteristics.

The Bill has been criticised because…

  • it excludes trans, gender diverse and intersex people from sport- it potentially excludes them from sex-specific services
  • it is unnecessary because there are already provisions which allow discrimination where strength, stamina and physique is relevant
  • it allows discrimination against children under the age of 12 for the first time
  • there is no discernible push from sporting organisations for the legislation
  • many grassroots sporting bodies have adopted inclusive policies to the benefit of all players

A relevant media release from Intersex Human Rights Australia can be found here

For more information contact Simone-lisa Anderson on 0456 032 088.

Response to Scott Morrison’s endorsement of Claire Chandler’s Trans Exclusion Bill. This Week Tasmanian women will unite in support of transgender inclusion

The following quotes can be attributed to Dr Charlie Burton, spokesperson for Equality Tasmania. Below the quotes are details of tomorrow’s media conference and newspaper ad, and Saturday’s vigil, all in support of transgender equality and inclusion, and all in Hobart. 

Response to Scott Morrison 

While electioneering in the Tasmanian division of Lyons this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, endorsed Tasmanian Liberal Senator, Claire Chandler’s Bill allowing trans women to be excluded from women’s sport. 

According to Dr Burton…
“In the past few weeks the Prime Minister has shown a complete lack of empathy for trans and gender diverse Australians and now he is using us as a political football.”  

“We completely reject the cynical abuse of trans people as a weapon in the Prime Minister’s political and electoral game playing.”
“Overwhelming public and parliamentary support for protecting young transgender people from discrimination during the religious discrimination debate gives us hope that the Prime Minister is completely out-of-step with a country that prides itself on a fair go for everyone.” 

Response to Senator Claire Chandler’s Trans Exclusionary “Save Women’s Sport” Bill 

According to Dr Burton… 

“Senator Chandler’s Bill would strip transgender people of the right to live as we are, casting us into an unequal, uncertain and unsafe status in the eyes of the law.”

“In Tasmania, transgender women have been playing women’s sport and accessing women’s services for many years without any of the problems predicted by Senator Chandler.” 

“Tasmanian sporting organisations have been actively seeking guidance on how to be more inclusive, not less, with strong support from the Tasmanian Liberal Government.” 

“We reject attempts to sow fear and division about policies that have worked well and have made Tasmania a better place for everyone.” 

Tasmanian Women to Unite in Support of Transgender Inclusion 

This week Tasmanian women will show their support for the inclusion of trans and gender diverse women. 

This will include

  • a media conference on the steps of Hobart Town Hall, 11am tomorrow, Feb 23th (speakers listed below)
  • a community statement published tomorrow in the Hobart Mercury (copy attached)
  • a vigil outside the Town Hall from 11.30am on Saturday, Feb 26th

 These actions are all in response to a public meeting in Hobart Town Hall on Saturday Feb 26th (from 12.30pm) that will protest against transgender women participating in women’s sport and accessing women’s services. 

They are also in response to a Bill introduced to the Senate by Tasmanian Liberal Senator, Claire Chandler, that seeks to reverse trans-inclusive sporting policies.  

Equality Tasmanian spokesperson, Dr Charlie Burton, said, 

“Our aim is to show that Tasmania is an inclusive community that rejects the politics of fear and division.” 

“In particular, we want to show that Tasmanian women, cisgender and transgender, stand united behind the values of inclusion and equality.” 

“Women are always stronger standing together rather than divided.” 

Media conference: 

At 11am tomorrow (Feb 23) a media conference will be held to respond to Senator Claire Chandler’s Bill and Saturday’s Town Hall meeting. Tomorrow’s speaker include former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Robin Banks, long-time transgender equality advocate, Martine Delaney, Labor Justice spokesperson, Ella Haddad, Greens leader, Cassy O’Connor, Clark Independent, Kristie Johnston and Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Charlie Burton

Published community statement: 

The media conference will coincide with the publication in the Hobart Mercury of a community statement from a diverse range of community organisations, including women’s organisations, in support of equal rights and full inclusion for transgender and gender diverse people (copy attached). 

Town Hall Vigil 

On Saturday at 11.30am, again at Hobart Town Hall, women will gather for a vigil outside the meeting of the Coalition for Biological Reality’s event, ‘Gender Identity in Law’ (which starts at 12.30pm), to show their support for trans and gender diverse inclusion and to repudiate fear and division. 

For more information contact Charlie Burton on 0402 016 625.


“Citipointe College is a taste of what Tasmania will become under the Religious Discrimination Bill, and that taste is very bitter for vulnerable LGBTIQ+ students.” – Rodney Croome 

Equality Tasmania has warned that Tasmanian faith-based schools could follow the lead of Brisbane’s Citipointe College, and overtly discriminate against LGBTIQ+ students, if the proposed federal Religious Discrimination Bill passes. 

Last week Citipointe Christian College announced that parents must sign a contract with the school that effectively eliminates same-sex attracted and gender diverse students from the school’s care and support. 

Equality Tasmania says the College’s “parental contract” would be contrary to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act, as well as state and federal youth suicide prevention programs. 

However, spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said the federal government’s Religious Discrimination Bill’s provisions allowing discrimination in the name of religion are so wide they could effectively nullify existing Tasmanian protections and give faith-based schools a green light to discriminate. 

“If the Religious Discrimination Bill passes, more and more faith-based schools will follow the lead of Citipointe College by overtly discriminating against LGBTIQ+ students.” “The religious exemptions in the Federal Bill are so wide they will effectively nullify Tasmanian discrimination protections that have been in place for a quarter of a century and have fostered more inclusive faith-based schools for LGBTIQ+ students.”  

“Citipointe College is a taste of what Tasmania will become under the Religious Discrimination Bill, and that taste is very bitter for vulnerable LGBTIQ+ students.” 

In 2018, a YouGov Galaxy poll found that 78% of Australians believed that religious schools should not be entitled to taxpayer funding if they discriminate against LGBTiQ+ teachers and students.    

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.