In the last sitting of Parliament, the motion to hold an inquiry into children changing their “gender” was blocked by Labor, Greens and a handful of Liberals.
I had a number of parents with children who are having difficulties contact me, asking that the inquiry go ahead. Given the surge in transgender propaganda that has infiltrated our schools, bureaucracy and the media I thought this inquiry was necessary to shine a light on what our children are exposed to.
Typically though, the left want to avoid any discussion or scrutiny of their devious ways.
Chamber Senate on 1/08/2023
Item: COMMITTEES – Community Affairs References Committee – Reference
Senator RENNICK (Queensland) (19:21): I rise today in support of this motion. I think it’s very important that we give parents a say in all of this. I have to say that I was very offended by the comments of Senator Hanson-Young, who was saying that these were the views of crackpots. No, these are the views of parents. I’m going to read out two emails that I have received from the parents of children who are struggling with these particular issues.
‘Hi. Dear Senator Rennick, I am a mother of three. I am a normal 44-year-old Australian woman juggling family and work. I just learned that the Senate will today consider the proposed reference for the Community Affairs References Committee. I’m writing to you to ask you to please vote to support the formation of the committee. Last July, my whole world was turned upside down when I discovered that my 13-year-old daughter was questioning her gender, believing that this made her nonbinary, and she was encouraged by her private counsellor to transition. My daughter has autism, ADHD and was struggling with self-harm behaviours. Her gender questioning was part of this bigger picture, yet all of her other pre-existing challenges were suddenly ignored and considered irrelevant because she really was not a girl, and she was supported in a belief that this would fix all of her problems.
All of the help I could locate urged me to affirm her gender identity. I want the best for each of my children and do not want any of them to be limited as adults by the choices they made as children. It is unconscionable to affirm my 13-year-old’s distress and lock that in as her identity and start on the medicalisation path, setting her up to be a lifelong medical patient and depriving her of some of life’s greatest joys before she’s ever had the chance to know what they might be—for example, having children. It is a lonely and difficult path supporting my daughter and navigating a pathway of holding the space open for her to mature and work out who she is within a supportive framework that embraces the whole of who she is. I urge you to please vote in favour of the proposed reference for the Community Affairs References Committee. I am happy to be contacted and meet with you to provide any personal details that would assist you.’
I will read out another email I have received from another parent, and this is just one of many emails and phone conversations I have had with parents of children who are having sexual identity issues. Now, I’m not proposing that I’ve got the answers. I don’t know, but what I do know is that parents shouldn’t be cut out of this process.
‘Dear Senator Rennick, I’m writing to request that you vote in favour of the motion that has been put to the Senate. My story: I am the mother of a trans-identifying female. Last year my daughter inexplicably and without any evidence of gender dysphoria informed us that she is trans. She has commenced high doses of testosterone and will be having surgery to have her breasts cut off.
We are totally shocked and cannot believe the medical profession is able to harmfully medicalise and mutilate her without any investigation into her mental health issues. If these doctors had even made minor investigations about her situation they would have found out that she has been very ill on and off for over the last five years, and very recently was so unwell she spent 18 months in a darkened room. She has a history of mental health issues which relate to her autism. If these doctors had asked whether she was healthy and happily working they would have discovered that she was not and that she was only back at work 2½ days a week due to continuing health problems.
It also appears irrelevant to the medical profession as to whether or not she actually has gender dysphoria. If they had investigated they would have discovered that she was a pink princess before and after puberty. She in fact hated anything male and the testosterone fuelled behaviour of men. However, the endocrinologist in question did not even ask whether or not she had gender dysphoria. Every day it takes my breath away that a qualified endocrinologist can prescribe her testosterone at levels that would not be allowed for a man or a woman who were low on that hormone, merely on her sayso. The devastation this has had on our family is indescribable. Our daughter has stopped communicating with me and my husband, as she cannot bring herself to think about the harm she is doing to herself.’
These are two stories of people who want their stories told. We previously discussed the role of the Senate—that is, to discuss community concerns. I do not see the harm in having an inquiry into what is obviously a very important issue for a number of our constituents. That is our role—to serve the people—and the Senate is a house of review. I do not think it is unreasonable. No-one here is trying to score political points, and I’m certainly not when I say I’m in favour of this.
However, I know it’s being pushed through schools at the moment—teachers are allowed. Schools aren’t necessarily pushing this stuff, and parents aren’t being told what is going on with their children at school. The other thing I’d like to look at is why—and we, the coalition did this—14-year-olds are allowed to block their parents from accessing their health records on myGov. I don’t think that is right either, as someone who has three children of my own. While they are living in my house, I will certainly want to know what they’re doing.
I think that the role of the parent is extremely important in this. I’ve heard from two parents here, two of many that I’ve heard from, who would like a say when it comes to government involvement, the education department’s involvement and the role of the medical community in actually assigning these people drugs that can change their hormones levels. It is often, I’m told, irreversible after a certain stage.
The important thing to note is this is in regards to children. That is why I am passionate about it. As a parent of three children, I get very annoyed when I see the government interfering in the role of the parent. There is nothing more sacred than the bond between parents and their children, so I would urge everyone to have an open mind to this.
As my colleague Senator Scarr pointed out before, you can always put up a dissenting report if you disagree with the findings of the inquiry. But we live in a democratic society, and the role of the Senate is as a house of review. This is an issue that has become more prevalent in the last decade and that in itself justifies it. I’m not trying to make any judgements as to who is right or wrong. It must be incredibly difficult for a parent to be trying to deal with this particular issue. I don’t see why the government or certain senators who want to represent these parents can’t have an inquiry into it.
Yet again, I’ll say what I said earlier today: the Prime Minister, Mr Albanese, said this would be an open and transparent government. I ask myself why Labor and the Greens are against having an open discussion about the risks and the benefits of these particular procedures, and against defending the rights of parents to have the dominant say in how their children are raised. Because children are just that; they are children. There is a reason why we don’t allow them to drink and smoke before 18, a reason why we don’t allow them to drive before they are 17 or 18, because they are too young to make decisions that may impact them later in life. This particular decision, in many cases, is irreversible. It can be irreversible. We have to tread delicately with this. My belief is that there have been hurdles or checks and balances in the past—