Home Politics Is Sanity Returning to the Australian Gender Debate?

Is Sanity Returning to the Australian Gender Debate?


“Draft bill to ban gay conversion practices in Tasmania criticised by advocates for having too many loopholes,” declared an ABC News headline on 13 December, the day that draft legislation to ban conversion therapy was published in that state. What these “advocates” are criticizing is, in fact, good news for those of us who have been waiting for cooler, saner views to prevail in the highly politicized debate over sex and gender identity here in Australia.

Tasmania is a large island off Australia’s south-east coast, famous for the Tasmanian Devil, Hannah Gadsby, and for being the butt of other Australians’ jokes about inbreeding. In gender-critical circles, it is also notorious for being the first Australian state to introduce self-identification for legal sex, including the option of not registering any legal sex at all.

In what appeared to be a race to the bottom among identity-obsessed leftists, my home state of Victoria followed Tasmania’s lead in introducing self-identification for legal sex, and then—not to be outdone by Tasmania—proposed both conversion therapy and vilification legislation as well. Tasmania quickly followed suit. All three pieces of legislation have been presented as crucial to the protection of transgender rights.

When it comes to self-identification of…

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