Morrison doubles down on trans women sport ban

Morrison doubles down on trans women sport ban in a bid to appease religious groups

Scott Morrison on rapid antigen testing

Scott Morrison’s decision to double down on his position toward a trans women sports ban has moderate Liberals biting their nails.

On the campaign trail in the marginal seat of Gilmore on Monday, the PM used the occasion to back the views of Tasmanian Liberal Senator Claire Chandler who has spearheaded a private member’s legislation which would enable sporting groups to exclude transgender people from single-sex sports.

Morrison commended Chandler’s “bravery” in putting forward the bill, and also endorsed the shared position of Liberal candidate for Warringah, Katherine Deves, who co-founded the Save Women’s Sport organisation.

“I share their views,” Morrison told reporters in Nowra on Monday.

“I welcome Katherine’s selection, pleased to play a role in that, I think she’s raised very important issues.

“I think Claire Chandler has also been outspoken and brave on these issues.”

He also declared he’d have “more to say” on the issue, triggering concern from a string of moderate Liberals like Andrew Bragg who suggested the issue was moot given the Sex Discrimination Act already contained caveats for strength and stamina.

“The law already addresses this issue and I’m not aware of any evidence that the law is deficient,” Bragg told Guardian Australia. “I think it is working well.”

Sitting member for Warringah, Independent Zali Steggall, slammed the PM’s inflammatory comments, suggesting he supported “discriminating, intimidating and excluding some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Others were quick to suggest the PM’s motives lie in attempting to appease religious groups who were left angered and disgruntled when the controversial Religious Discrimination Bill was set aside earlier this year.

Trans footballer Hannah Mouncey derided where the PM’s focus lies, saying “that of all the issues he could act on to “help” women as PM, apparently trans people playing sport is it???”

“Of all the concerns women have and are passionate about, this is not one of them,” Mouncey added to The Daily Telegraph.

“I am exhausted… if it’s good enough for the Olympics that we play, it should be good enough for Scott Morrison.

“We just want to be allowed to play.”

Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown said it was a “disappointing” response from the PM.

“We need our politicians to stop using trans people as political footballs and start being leaders for all Australians, including LGBTIQ+ people,” she told SBS News.

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