On Thursday 22 June NSW parliament hosted a forum organised by the Liberal Democrat MP John Ruddick and emceed by failed federal Liberal candidate Katherine Deves. NSW parliamentarians have since been criticised for speaking at the forum of anti-trans campaigners held at Parliament House this week, including a government MP who labelled pushback against their campaigns as “totalitarian”, SMH's Michael McGowan reports.
Josh Pallas, President of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, described some of the comments made at the forum as “harmful and discriminatory”, saying that the rhetoric of the anti-trans movement “increased the mental harm towards the trans community” at a time when the queer community was facing increased hostility.
“Free speech is important, but the corollary of that is when you engage in speech acts they may not necessarily be well received and people should be ready to accept that people might call them out when they’re spouting hatred and contempt of others,” he said.
“But when it comes to the parliament and public spaces it’s important they are seen as inclusive and people are treated equally.
“The scariest thing is it brings hate into a space that everyone should have equal access to.”
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