Wednesday, 13 February 2013

An Ethical Difference

 Senator Brandis is the Shadow Attorney General. One cannot get into that position without having an IQ greater than your shoe size. Though one might well wonder after his rude interruption of a witness before the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee a fortnight ago.

ParlInfo - Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee : 24/01/2013 : Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012


Senator PRATT: So you would like to see, if religious exemptions were to continue, intersex status specifically taken out of those exemptions?

Gina Wilson : Certainly. To allow anybody to discriminate against intersex people and to allow religious organisations to have an exemption from the law is no different to allowing a religious organisation to discriminate on the basis of colour of skin or a disability that you were born with.

Senator BRANDIS: No, it is not, because there is an ethical difference.
Er... pardon me? An ethical difference?
Gina Wilson : We are born differently.

Senator BRANDIS: The church says, rightly or wrongly, that in its view certain behaviours are sins. You might have said to that—

Gina Wilson : Senator Brandis, this is not about our behaviours.
...
Gina Wilson : It is not a matter of our behaviour; it is a matter of how we are born. We are not behaving like anything. It is not a matter of sexual orientation. We have the same range of sexual orientations as the rest of the community. It is not about our gender identity. We have the same range of gender identities as the rest of the community. It is about how we are physically born. That is like if a person is physically born with black skin. If you give a religious organisation the right to discriminate on the basis that they were born with black skin, that is the same as giving them the right to discriminate about people who were born with anatomical differences of sex. Because my genitals are different or because my hormones are different, they have a right to exclude me from service, exclude me from a school or exclude me from employment, and that just seems bizarre—because of the way I was born, because I was born physically different. It is not a choice. It is not an orientation. It is not an identity. I was born physically different.
But of course, a Christian School would never "dis-invite" a 5 year old to attend pre-school just because he was anatomically unusual. Except they did.

A good thing as it turns out : my son attends a far better school now.

Senator Brandis - this is personal. Letter to follow.

3 comments:

Nikola Kovacs said...

You and Gina are both fabulous advocates for the Intersex cause Zoe.

I wrote to the Hon. Tanya Plibersek the other week about Intersex Genital Mutilation. Her response is beyond belief. Would you like to see it?

Zoe Brain said...

I'm sure I wouldn't like to see it.

I'm equally sure that I should see it, and publicise it too. Or this kind of thing will never cease.

So yes please, please send it to me.

Anonymous said...

Zoe- did Nikola ever send you the Plibersek letter? I think there are many readers of your blog who would be very interested to read it.

Thanks.

An Interested Reader.