Australian politician Mark Latham pledges to gut transgender rights
Australian One Nation politician Mark Latham has unveiled a series of new anti-transgender policy pledges.
Latham was once the leader of Australia’s centre-left Labor Party, but is now a member of the nationalist One Nation party, which he leads in New South Wales.
Ahead of state elections in March, Latham has focused on transgender children, pledging to support a ban on them transitioning at school without permission from a doctor.
Mark Latham attacks ‘attention-seeking’ transgender children
In a January 20 policy announcement, Latham claimed: “One of the problems with gender fluidity in schools is that students can participate in it simply by ‘identifying’ as transgender.
“This leaves the system open to abuse, with some students milking transgender identification for special treatment or attention-seeking reasons.”
The politician added: “This problem is increasingly common in NSW high schools, urged on by Left-wing political activists.
“Schools made a big mistake when they stopped being places of learning and ventured into the world of mental health assessment and radical gender theory.”
He continued: “One Nation supports teachers who want a stable, productive learning environment in their school, avoiding the Mad Hatter situation and the powerlessness of staff.”
“Any student wanting to change their gender should have to present specialist medical advice and support to the school.
“This takes the matter out of the hands of students and gives teachers the State Government support they need to deal effectively with disingenuous and disruptive behaviour concerning gender.
“It also addresses the real mental health issue: bringing confusion and harm to young people by telling them gender is ‘socially constructed’ and ‘fluid’.”
One Nation’s Mark Latham wants to gut gender recognition laws
Latham also vowed to gut laws that allow transgender people to gain legal recognition in their chosen gender, and end easy legal recognition on all government forms.
Mirroring the policy stance taken by US President Donald Trump, he said: “In reality, with very few exceptions, people are born either male or female. To move away from this biological truth later in life is a serious matter requiring specialist medical evidence. It should not happen because of Leftist ideology, individual whims or novelty factors.
“One Nation does not believe that gender changes should be self-identified on NSW Government forms, permits and licences, such as those processed by Service NSW: agencies including Roads and Maritime Services, Department of Fair Trading and Births Deaths and Marriages.”
He added: “One Nation supports the introduction of a government rule across-the-board prohibiting individual self-identification.”
The politician claims he would allow some limited forms of gender recognition, provided trans people could provide “specialist medical evidence.”
As the current system of gender recognition requires medical evidence, it is unclear what exactly Latham is proposing.
NSW Labor politician Graham Perrett told the Mail: “He has nothing constructive to say about about Australian society.
“This is simply a shock tactic to extract more votes. I’m one of the parliamentary convenors for LGBTI and we take matters like these very seriously.”
Latham was a strong opponent of same-sex marriage during the country’s 2017 postal vote on the issue, claiming he was worried the law would allow transgender people to get married to people of the opposite sex.
The politician was sacked as a Sky News pundit in 2017 after he refused to apologise for describing a school child as “gay” on-air.
Once a fringe party, One Nation has seen a national growth in support in recent years.
The party’s national leader Pauline Hanson claimed in 2017 that same-sex marriage could lead to people marrying children.