When Pat Byrne tells people that state schools will be forced to teach students about transgenderism if marriage is redefined, the reaction he usually gets is disbelief.
Surely something so far-fetched couldn’t be true, they think. Surely this is just the “No” campaigners engaging in scare mongering.
Then he shows them the federal and state government documents clearly laying the groundwork for this exact scenario and he says their disbelief turns into outrage.
“They think we’re exaggerating until we show them the documents,” he said.
As Vice President of the National Civic Council — a non-political organisation that advocates for Judeo-Christian values as the foundation of society — Mr Byrne is regularly asked to speak on this topic.
One document he shows people is the Sex Discrimination Amendment Act (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) 2013, which was quietly passed by the Federal Parliament without any public debate four years ago.
The legislation removes the terms “man” and “woman” from anti-discrimination law and determines that it is unlawful to discriminate against someone based on their “sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status.”
It defines “gender identity” as “the gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person (whether by way of medical intervention or not), with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth.”
It further defines “intersex status” as “having physical, hormonal or genetic features that are: neither wholly female nor wholly male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male.”
In effect, the legislation which redefines the human person shapes education policies in state schools, as evidenced by the emergence of the “Safe Schools” program, which rather than being an anti-bullying program, is focused on normalising transgenderism.
Transgenderism, or gender-fluidity, is the notion that gender is merely a social construct and is not fixed, with everyone positioned somewhere on a spectrum between male and female, or even genderless.
When Mr Byrne shows people this document he says their reactions are often intense.
“At one meeting, a woman — an intelligent lawyer — came up to me after I spoke and told me repeatedly, ‘I feel like I’ve been hit in the face with a sledgehammer’. She couldn’t believe the writing of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ out of federal law has already gone so far and been noticed by so few in the Australian legal community.”
“So many have come up to me after public meetings I’ve spoken at, especially lawyers. They all say the same thing: ‘I had no idea. I can’t believe they’ve done this’.”
Representatives from ethnic communities, for whom traditional marriage is a key institution, are often shocked, he said. “They all want to know the same thing: how come nobody told us?”
Because this legislation redefines the human person away from being of either male or female sex, to any type of gender identity — “with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth” — this means that if marriage is redefined it will in essence be “transgender marriage”, or “gender-fluid marriage”not “same-sex marriage”.
The government hasn’t revealed what bill will be put to the Parliament in the event of a “yes” vote. The last bill drafted for federal Parliament—the Exposure Draft Marriage Amendment (Same sex Marriage) Bill—defines marriage as the union of “any 2 people,” not as either two people of opposite sex or two people of the same sex.
“It’s transgender marriage, gender-fluid marriage,” Mr Byrne says, “with any two persons recognised by any gender identity.”
Most people would also not realise there have been 20 marriage bills moved in Federal Parliament over the past several years, 14 of which seek to define marriage as between “any 2 persons”.
“But define a person,” he says. “Fourteen of the bills say it’s ‘person’ according to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity. So they’re transgender marriage bills, not same-sex marriage bills.”
Some of these bills were put forward by Bill Shorten, The Greens Party, Sarah Hanson-Young and Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie.
Furthermore, he says, if marriage is redefined in law, transgenderism, or gender-fluidity, will have to be taught in state schools according to Section 21 of the Sex Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful for any educational authority to discriminate against a person based on their “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status …”
In other words, getting rid of “Safe Schools” won’t protect children because the normalisation of transgenderism is written into federal law, which informs state education policies.
Indeed, the “Safe Schools” program is based on the definition of gender identity found in the Sex Discrimination Act, which is why Safe Schools founder Roz Ward maintained that she was simply implementing anti-discrimination law.
Already, NSW, Victoria, QLD and SA have education policies implementing the Sex Discrimination Act.
The NSW state education policy says transgender students “should be treated on the same basis as other students of the same identified gender,” including in regard to “Use of toilet and change room facilities” and “Excursions including overnight excursions.”
Victoria’s policy states, “Careful consideration should be given to the use of facilities that are appropriate to the student’s preferred or chosen gender,” while QLD’s policy states, “Students who are transgender or intersex should be permitted to wear the uniform of their choosing.”
The most forceful is South Australia’s policy which says, “… this procedure is mandatory” and “Failure to provide transgender students with access to appropriate toilet and change facilities may breach anti-discrimination legislation.”
“So there’s no threshold for a boy to identify as a girl,” he says. “He only has to identify as a girl and then say he wants to use the girls’ showers, toilets and change rooms.”
He has encountered numerous parents horrified by the radical gender theories being taught in their children’s schools.
“We’ve talked to mothers who’ve pulled their kids out of schools because the kids were disturbed by this transgender teaching.”
“I’ve talked to families from schools where this stuff has been prominent. Kids as young as 11, 12, and 13 have gone from talking about sex 10 per cent of the time to 90 per cent of the time. It changes the whole demeanour of children. We should be letting kids be kids.”
People are astounded, Mr Byrne says, when he tells them about the broader agenda behind the push for “same-sex marriage” and the fact that transgenderism is already written into law at the federal level.
“Almost no one in Australian politics or the legal community is aware of the far-reaching changes which have already been quietly enacted into law and the status of marriage,” he said.
“It’s about forcing upon society a change in the human identity, then a change in relationships in terms of marriage. Then it has to be taught in schools.”