Don’t dare speak about “husbands” and “wives”- if you are in Victoria. (The Australian, December 16, 2016, p.3) The Inclusive Language Guide, to be used in the public sector, bans using “heteronormative” terms such as “husband” and “wives” and requires the use of gender-neutral pronouns such as “zie” and “hir.”
The guide, according to the Victorian Equality Minister, aims to keep the LGBTI community safe by “eradicating homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.”
Now, I would not want anyone to be unsafe but to my old mind though this seems to be little more than a politically correct attack on heterosexuality. If one is heterosexual and has a husband or wife, why shouldn’t one be able to refer to that Fact? That’s discrimination!
Then we will find out if it really is the case that gender is a social construct!
Immediately prior to the Christmas break, the SA parliament passed a heap of LGBTQI (have I missed any letters?) legislation. South Australia has now formally recognised same-sex marriage. The unpopular premier Jay Weatherill also issued a formal apology to the LGBTQIers. Not only is there state wide recognition of same sex marriages, as well as those outside of Australia, but next-of-kin adoption rights. If the highly unlikely Federal referendum on the same sex marriage proposal delivers a “NO!” result, it may be possible to constitutionally challenge the state legislation as being inconsistent with the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961. But, like anything taken to court today, I would not bet on it.
The Gender Amendment Act makes it easy to change one’s gender on one’s birth certificate. I bet Uncle Len, over there in Adelaide, is wishing now that he did not work so hard to oppose the radioactive waste dump in SA! He may even change his gender, race and species!