Scott Morrison Says He ‘Shares’ Anti-Trans Views Held by Women in His Party

“Enough is enough.”
Arielle Richards
Melbourne, AU
Scott Morrison. Image by Martin Ollman / Stringer

Scott Morrison has publicly confirmed his support for anti-transgender campaigns brought by Liberal politicians, for the second time this year. 

In a Monday press conference, Morrison said he “shared” the views of transphobic campaigners Katherine Deves and Claire Chandler, commending the “bravery” of the politicians who he said were “outspoken” on the issue. 


“I welcome Katherine’s selection, pleased to play a role in that. I think she’s raised very important issues. I think Claire Chandler’s also been outspoken and brave on these issues,” Morrison said. 

The “issues” in question are Deves and Chandler’s campaigns to legally allow sports organisations to block transgender women from competing in “single sex” sports.  

When asked whether, if elected, he would legislate to ban transgender women from playing sports with cis women, Morrison was coy, saying he thought he had done a good job of conveying his “personal view”. 

“We will have more to say about that another time. If I do, I will. We will deal with that another time,” he said.

National LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia has warned parties and candidates to stop using LGBTIQ+ people as a political football, revealing one in three LGBTIQ+ voters is either undecided or considering changing their vote this election.

“Politicians must learn that there is nothing to be gained by refusing to stand up for LGBTIQ+ people or using debate about our lives to score cheap political points," Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown told VICE.

“Enough is enough. The political parties that wish to form government in this coming election must commit to governing for all Australians, and to ensuring that every person in Australia can live their life with dignity and respect, no matter who they are, or whom they love.”


Morrison’s comments come as yet another development in a transphobic “culture war” directly inherited from concurrent issues in the United States and the UK. It is a political tug-of-war that places one of Australia’s most vulnerable groups at its centre that has continued to crop up in the lead-up to the election, despite fears of “transgender athletes crowding out female participants” remaining largely unfounded in Australia and highly discriminatory.

This is the second time Morrison has confirmed support for anti-transgender rhetoric this year.

In February, Morrison backed Liberal Senator Claire Chandler’s “save women’s sport” bill, which aimed to offer legal protection to sporting clubs that wish to offer sports segregated on the basis of biological sex. Morrison described Chandler and her bill as “terrific”.

"I support her, as Claire knows. I think it's a terrific bill and I've given her great encouragement," Morrison said.

Chandler introduced the contentious bill to Parliament in February this year amid government turmoil surrounding the religious discrimination bill, which contained provisions to protect gay students against religious discrimination but left transgender students vulnerable. Five Liberal MPs crossed the floor to stand with Labor in support of a cross-bench amendment to extend greater protections to transgender students. 


Deves, a Liberal candidate for Warringa, is a longtime “critic” of transgender rights and founder of the Save Women’s Sport lobby group. Deves believes biological sex is “immutable”, and has made several appearances on Sky News espousing her views that women’s rights are at risk from the rise of “gender identity”.

Equality Australia today released a landmark survey of the voting intentions and election priorities of LGBTIQ+ people, providing an indication of the voting intentions of at least 850,000 voters and revealing that parties and candidates have an opportunity to regain support of a significant voting block by committing to act on LGBTIQ+ issues.


It shouldn’t take a survey to acknowledge that LGBTIQ+ people and the people who care about them form a solid voter constituency. By succumbing to the culture wars game, with vulnerable groups as the ball, Morrison is pissing in the wind while hurting people in the process.

“This election, candidates cannot afford to take LGBTIQ+ voters for granted,” Brown said.

“After a series of divisive debates focused on the lives of LGBTIQ+ people, many of our community have become sceptical of the political parties and are yet to make up their mind about who they’ll vote for.”

With a short lead-up to the May 21 election, Morrison has yet again shown he’s willing to use the rights of transgender people as a pivotal issue.

Whether it’ll be sufficiently polarising to have an effect is irrelevant: It’s a cheap ploy levied at a vulnerable group who were never offered a say in it at all.

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