Media Release
Friday 30 October 2020 
Mayor Zempilas comments show need for law reform
Call on WA Premier to update trans legislation 
National lobby group just.equal say the “offensive and ill-informed” comments about trans people by Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas are another example of why state governments need to update gender recognition and anti-discrimination laws.
Spokesperson for just.equal, Dr Charlie Burton, said Western Australia had fallen behind other states in legally recognising the existence of transgender, gender-diverse and intersex people.
“The WA Government has not delivered on its previous commitment to progress law reform in this area and draft legislation seems to have been shelved.” 
Dr Burton also said anti-discrimination protections under the WA Equal Opportunity Act did not fully cover transgender people.
“In order to be protected by ‘Gender History’ under WA anti-discrimination legislation, trans people must first undergo surgery and be issued with a ‘Gender Recognition Certificate’. This is a clumsy, inadequate and terribly outdated approach to transgender laws.
“Amongst other things, it means that anti-discrimination protections do not exist for people who choose not to, or cannot, undertake surgery.
“Legal recognition for the existence of trans people, and thorough protection from discrimination under the Equal Opportunity Act, would help to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against trans and gender-diverse people in WA,” Dr Burton said.
Just.equal have called on all states to address reform in this area and point to Tasmania as the ‘gold standard’ to be adopted across the country.
“Tasmania’s legal framework for recognition and protections for trans, gender-diverse and intersex people has helped to make Tasmania more accepting and means comments like those from Mayor Zempilas are far less likely to occur.”
“As a trans advocate living in Tasmania, I want to send the message to all LGBTIQ people in WA that our community around the country is standing beside you,” Dr Burton said. 
Contact: Dr Charlie Burton
(Tas) 0402 016 625