Leaping far beyond his ability to comprehend, and seemingly in response to an article in the Daily Bellylaugh, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken against a program that trains teachers to identify suspected transgender children in schools. I don’t have access to the article that engendered (excuse pun) Morrison’s brain fart, because I refuse to pay for access to such a vacuous scandal-sheet. However, other Murdoch ‘ruperters’ at the Australian have joined in (not paying for a Murdoch rag, I only get one free access a week). Morrison stated that “we do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.” Morrison ridiculously seems to be under the misapprehension that these people are attempting to convince children who don’t have gender dysphoria that they do. As the Greens stated, this indicates that the Prime Minister “doesn’t care about the wellbeing or welfare” of non-binary children. This was on top of his Monday refusal to condemn dangerous ‘gay conversion therapy’ in saying that it wasn’t an issue for him1.
The article in the Daily Bellylaugh quoted an unqualified ‘gender expert’ with links to the Australian Christian Lobby, who had been a candidate for Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party, which simply reinforces the suspicion that ‘ruperters’ at the Daily Bellylaugh do not know what the word ‘expert’ means. As Greens Senator Janet Rice said: “some kids are trans. Some kids are gay, lesbian, bisexual. Some kids are questioning their gender or sexuality. And they need to be supported by their families, communities, schools and their representatives in parliament”1. Precisely, and this is something Morrison, in his galloping ignorance, does not seem to realise or, for that matter, to care. Unlike Morrison, Dr Elizabeth Riley is an actual expert in the field, and she said: “Trans children are in every school…. If a school has 1000 students, 10 of them will be trans, whether they go on to transition or not”1. This is something terrifying to Morrison; it’s based on facts.
Morrison’s stupid outburst is yet another instance of the religious attempting to pigeonhole people into their concept of where they should be, not where they are. It is just a denial of reality2. These religious pigeonholes, and their societal influence, are, at base, the reason that the rate of attempted suicide among trans people aged 18 and over is nearly eleven times the national average, while in intersex people aged 16 and over it is nearly six times the national average. They are also much more likely to suffer depression3. These are people’s sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, but deep down, many religious people, particularly those of the happy-clappy variety, tend to look on trans or gay people as being everything from evil to somehow deficient. This was made clear in the campaigns against same-sex marriage undertaken by many churches, and other religious organisations, as well as the subsequent campaign for ‘religious freedoms’, which is code for being able to continue discriminating against people4.
The sooner these bigots are ousted from parliament, the better. All they want to do is foist their beliefs and bigotries on the rest of us, and they are desperate to do so. This is because they can see the writing on the wall. As Australia becomes more secular (30% now have ‘no religion’5), the religious will do anything they can to try to maintain, or regain, their position of influence in the nation. This will not happen, because it is the young who are fleeing religion, and as the religious old farts die off or start dribbling down their shirts, their influence will wane. It cannot wane fast enough.
As a postscript, Morrison has recently stated at a love-in hosted by the conservative Menzies Research Centre in Albury: “I pray for that rain everywhere else around the country. And I do pray for that rain. And I’d encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers. Please do that”6. It is the 21st century and we are facing what could be an existential threat in climate change, and he wants us to pray. Prayer is what people do to obviate the need to actually do anything useful, which is why it is popular among those in the current federal government. Their stupidity beggars belief.