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O'Chee scaremongering over transsexuals in sport



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CANBERRA OFFICE

SUITE SC 34

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600 TEL: 06 277 3388 FAX: b6 277 3062

ADELAIDE OFFICE PO BOX 55, TORRENSVILLE PLAZA SA 5031 101 HENLEY BEACH ROAD MILE END SA 5031 TEL: 08 352 7477

FAX: 08 234 1165 TOLL FREE No.: 008 807 477

;N1 q3 ,', SENATOR THE HON NICK BOLKUS SHADOW ATTORNEY GENERAL SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

No.67/97 4 December 1997

OsCHEE SCAREMONGERING OVER TRANSSEXUALS IN SPORT

"Government Senator Bill O'Chee is scaremongering about transsexuals in sport," Shadow Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Senator Nick Bolkus, said today.

"Senator O'Chee has claimed that the Senate Committee's Report on the Sexuality Discrimination Bill would allow transsexuals to compete in women's sports thereby gaining an unfair advantage because of their previous physiology."

"This is wrong. No such recommendation is contained in the Report."

"First, it is important to note that there are many sports in which men and women can compete equally. There is obviously no justification for allowing discrimination in those cases."

"Secondly, in relation to those sports where an individual transsexual may gain an advantage on the basis of his or her original sex, the Bill would still allow those sports to prevent that person from engaging in that sport, at a competitive level, if his or her physiology gave him or her an unfair advantage."

"As a result, no Australian female athlete will be disadvantaged."

"It is the most disgraceful kind of scaremongering for Senator OiChee to tell our female athletes that their years of hard work and dedication could come to nought as a result of this Bill. Why is he trying to worry and distract them unncessarily?"

"Senator O'Chee has tried to rely on a lack of community understanding about these issues and has sought to pander to bigoted views in the community about people with other sexualities."

"His attitudes reflect the very sort of discrimination this Bill is designed to protect against."

"Gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, transgenders and transsexuals are people too. They are entitled to live in our community, and play sport, free from discrimination. These Australians don't want an unfair advantage, they just want to be treated fairly."

"I call upon Senator O'Chee to stop his campaign of distortion, fear and loathing. He should start respecting all Australians for who they are and give everyone a fair go."

Contact: Simon Banks Ph: (02) 6277 3388 (bh) or 0419 63 85 87 (m) Fax: (02) 6277 3062