A state tribunal has rejected the right of same-sex attracted people to hold social functions that exclude transgender people.
Launceston lesbian activist Jessica Hoyle had sought an exemption from Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act to run female-only “drag-king” shows and other lesbian events.
The exemption was denied by Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt in July 2021, prompting Miss Hoyle to appeal to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
In a ruling late last week circulated on Monday, the tribunal rejected Miss Hoyle’s appeal, finding the desire for female-only lesbian events was insufficient justification for an exemption.
“While the applicants may not wish to comply with the Act and find aspects of its application to transgender and transsexual women irksome, particularly in the context of the event they would like to hold, that is not a sufficient justification,” ruled tribunal member Kate Cuthbertson.
Miss Hoyle told The Australian she was disappointed in the decision and would fight on, if necessary all the way to the High Court, believing same-sex attracted females should be able to exclude “people with penises” from social events.
“This decision erases the rights of women and freedom of association for lesbians,” said Miss Hoyle. “It is harmful to everyday, average lesbian women and gay men, who just want to be able to meet one another in a safe environment, and not have members of the opposite sex harass us
Miss Hoyle said she was seeking further legal advice but was likely to reapply for an exemption taking into account aspects of the tribunal decision..