Lesbian Action Group loses bid to exclude trans women from events

A lesbian community organisation will be forced to keep its events open to men, straight women and transgender women after the Australian Human Rights Commission refused to grant it an exemption from anti-discrimination laws.

The AHRC’s decision prohibits the group from staging a planned “Lesbians Born Female” event to commemorate International Lesbian Day. It also challenges traditional notions of sex as a biological concept as the commission concluded that sex is non-binary and changeable.
Carole Ann, a spokeswoman for the Lesbian Action Group, which submitted the application, said the AHRC’s stance “obliterated” biological reality.
“It wasn’t unexpected, but it is still disgraceful,” she said. “It basically puts us back in the closet if we want to have any events for lesbians who were born female.”
The AHRC’s ruling is based on changes made to the Sex Discrimination Act 10 years ago. Under the changes, sexual orientation and gender identity were included as protected attributes, the definitions of a man and a woman were repealed from the legislation, and references to the “opposite sex” were replaced with “different sex”.
The commission said the changes to the act made it clear that for the purposes of state and federal law, sex was no longer fixed or binary.
Ann said the AHRC’s position made a mockery of the intention of the original act, which was introduced nearly 40 years ago to protect the rights of women.
“The Human Rights Commission has made their own definition and said that sex is not binary. What does that mean? What other sexes are there? Is there a third or a fourth or a fifth?”
The Lesbian Action Group, in seeking a five-year-exemption to invite only same-sex attracted, biological women to its events, argued that lesbians had been driven underground by a “repressive and conservative political climate” and the fear of being labelled transphobic.
The Lesbian Action Group is considering taking the case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Source: Lesbian Action Group loses bid to exclude trans women from events

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