The Northern Territory Labor government recently announced plans to revise to the Anti-Discrimination Act. The proposition features a definition of sex that removes any reference to a biological basis for a person’s sex, stating instead that making a distinction between male and female is simply a result of ‘tradition’:
Sex is based on traditional notions that all people can be classified as male or female.
In revising this definition, the government is imposing an alternate reality on others. The definition of sex as we know it is now based on “traditional notions” instead of biological fact. Instead, they want sex to be defined as one’s gender identity. What makes it more problematic is that these new definitions could be linked to ‘vilification’ laws, so that refusing to use them could be equated with ‘hate speech’.
As a columnist in the Australian recently stated:
The proposal to replace sex with “gender identity” as a protected attribute is problematic. The denial of biological reality could become a legal requirement if discrimination law is altered to protect gender identity. NT Labor’s mooted reforms could include vilification provisions applying to its protected attributes such as gender identity and sexual orientation.
This redefinition goes beyond being ‘sensitive’ and instead seeks to limit free speech and force people to speak in accordance with what is deemed politically correct. The role of the government is not to tell people what they can and cannot say, but rather to protect their right to freely voice their beliefs. We must ensure that that right is not eroded. As the columnist stated: Forced speech is not a feature of free world politics. It is, however, a chief feature of totalitarian society.