Calls for Australia’s former deputy Prime Minister to resign have intensified after he said schools should be allowed to ban trans students.
Barnaby Joyce served as deputy PM and leader of the Nationals Party for about two years and opposed same-sex marriage. But resigned from those positions of after he had an affair with one of his staff members while married.
On Wednesday (5 December), Joyce waded into the national debate about whether schools should be able to ban LGBTI students from schools.
‘If I send my child to an all-girls school I don’t want the complication and the possibility that someone turns up and says “well I believe that I want to identify as a woman, I want to be identified as a girl, I want to go into your bathrooms, I want to go into your change rooms”,’ he told David Speers, Sky News Australia’s political editor.
Joyce argued ‘the right of the school, and the right of the vast majority of parents, is a right that must be respected’.
‘You can’t usurp the ethos and the belief structure of the church or the synagogue or the mosque,’ he said.
‘The views of one family or one student can’t therefore prevail and force a change on the views of everyone else.
‘You cannot send a student whose genetic make up is XY… to a school established for people of XX. It is not fair on the larger school unit that they have to change and accept all because of the desires of one.’
The former deputy PM said if trans students weren’t happy at their schools they could ‘choose a different school’. He also said schools should not be ‘politically correct bullied’.
Since the comments, trans allies have called for Joyce to resign.
‘Barnaby Joyce has shown zero understanding or compassion for transgender students,’ trans advocate and author Jo Hirst told The New Daily.
‘When we have a federal minister blatantly flouting the recommendations of our health professionals, and publicly shaming and disparaging our vulnerable kids, I think it’s time for our Prime Minister to step in and say enough is enough.
‘These children deserve better than this. He should be asked for his resignation.’
Author: Shannon Power
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