Scott Morrison says he would prefer for his two daughters to not compete with transgender athletes while engaging in sport, and opposition to the issue is a matter of ‘common sense.
The prime minister faced questioning over the highly-contentious debate currently raging in Australian politics as he fronted reporters in Brisbane on Thursday.
Asked whether he would feel comfortable with his children Abbey, 13, and Lily, 11, going up against transgender girls, the PM said he believes athletes should stick to their biological cohort.
‘Well, sports will make their decisions, but my preference is for girls to play girls, for women to play women, boys to play boys, and men to play men,’ he said.
‘I don’t think it is a terribly remarkable statement. I think it is common sense.’
However, the PM said he wants ‘those who are trans to participate in sport as well’.
Scott Morrison said barring transgender athletes from competing in women’s sport would be ‘common sense’
‘I want them to have opportunities for inclusion in sport,’ Mr Morrison explained. But we’ve also got to have some common sense here. It’s pretty straight forward.’
Mr Morrison, whose campaign trail has kicked into high gear ahead of the May 14 election, was in Queensland to announce a $22.8 million urban connectivity package to target poor mobile phone coverage in outer suburbs across Australia.
A debate over the issue has been sparked by statements from federal Liberal candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves who published, then deleted, tweets criticising the trans community.
She compared her organisation, designed to exclude trans people from sport, to the French resistance groups during the Nazi occupation.
Ms Deves has since issued public apologies over her choice of language but Mr Morrison is standing by the embattled candidate.
Doubling down on his stance on Thursday, Mr Morrison praised Ms Deves for ‘championing’ the movement to have transgender athletes removed from women’s competitions.
‘Katherine has been a champion of these issues – it’s a common sense position,’ he continued.
Last Thursday, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said he believed Ms Deves should be disendorsed, saying there was no place in mainstream political parties for bigotry.
Mr Morrison said he would prefer for his daughters Abbey and Lily (pictured together) to compete against biological females
‘Political leaders should be condemning the persecution of people based on their gender, not participating in it,’ the treasurer said.
Mr Kean stood by his comments on Wednesday, telling News Corp the language she had used was inappropriate.
‘Invoking the Holocaust, one of the worst atrocities in human history, is offensive to those who lost loved ones.’
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has played down the disagreement with his Treasurer Matt Kean over the issue, saying he welcomed different views within his party.
‘Matt, like me, in the past, I have to be a bit careful now, likes having opinions,” the premier said on Wednesday.
‘You want colour and you want ideas in public life.’
The Prime Minister said Warringah candidate Katherine Deves (pictured with her family) would be a ‘great member of parliament’ and declared: ‘I’m not going to allow her to be silenced’
This is the tweet in which Ms Deves made her controversial comments about transgender teenagers. She shared a picture of a trans American teenager who had just had breasts removed and wrote: ‘This photo just hit my feed. It is beyond heartbreaking.’
The premier’s comments came after it was revealed he had texted Mr Morrison to reassure him of his backing over his approach to trans women in sport.
Mr Perrottet added his views on the issue were very clear.
‘I think girls should play sport against girls, and women should play sport against women,’ he said.
He added that politicians in public life have a responsibility to engage in public debate sensitively.
‘Particularly in areas that are incredibly delicate.’
On Tuesday, Labor leader Chris Minns was asked on 2GB if he believed transgender people, born male, might have an advantage during sporting competitions.
‘Look I think it’s a complicated issue, but the simple fact is … when young male adolescents go through puberty, they have a large amount of a natural chemical called testosterone,’ he said.
‘It’s a powerful, natural, anabolic steroid and there’s simply not enough preparation training, dieting or natural skill for female athletes to overcome that competitive advantage.
‘It’s no one’s fault, it’s just a problem of biology.’
The longstanding debate into transgender athletes competing in sport was reignited last month after US swimmer Lia Thomas (pictured) won a major women’s race
He said when sport bodies made decisions to ensure fairness, they should be supported.
A Labor spokesperson told AAP Mr Minns did not support the comments made by Ms Deves.
‘Comparing anything to the horrific crimes of the Nazis is of course highly inappropriate and awful,’ the spokesperson said.
The commentary has prompted Independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich to criticise the premier and the opposition leader and to call for calm on the issue on Wednesday.
Mr Greenwich said all MPs and candidates running for election should stop weaponising the issue of transgender and gender diverse people.
‘Transgender people face significant stigma, discrimination and exclusion in the community which leads to poor mental health outcomes and high suicide rates,’ Mr Greenwich said.
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean (pictured)has condemned Ms Deves language and called for her to be disendorsed
Listening to politicians claim they posed a threat to sport and should be excluded was incredibly damaging, he added.
Ms Deves’ remarks reheated the topic after it was thrusted into the headlines last month March after American swimmer, Lia Thomas, who was born a man, won a major women’s race.
The victory sparked anti-trans protests in the US with critics slamming Thomas’ admission as ‘unfair’, after the swimmer, who narrowly beat Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant, ranked in the mid-500s while competing among men.
Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women’s championships on Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia, becoming the first transgender athlete to win the event.
Critics argue transgender athletes competing in women’s sports have a physiological advantage, while supporters say they should be able to swim freely as a woman.
After Thomas claimed gold after touching the wall at 4mins 33.24secs – more than a second-and-a-half before Weyant’s 4:34.99 – protesters stormed the stadium with signs reading ‘save women’s sport’.
Prominent athletes including tennis great Martina Navratilova and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, who was born a man and competed among men, have also publicly spoken out in favour of barring transgender athletes from women’s sports.
Australian swimmers Emma McKeon and Emily Seebohm this week also spoke out calling for fairness in women’s sports, saying they would not want to compete against biological males.
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So who ARE the real bigots here? Read the vile abuse Katherine Deves has copped for daring to oppose trans women competing against females – with feral activists calling her ‘vermin’ who should be set on FIRE
BY CHARLOTTE KARP FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
Liberal candidate Katherine Deves has been subjected to horrific abuse since she was hand-picked by Scott Morrison to run in a key Sydney seat, including vile death threats for campaigning to ban transgender athletes from women’s sport.
Ms Deves was selected by the Prime Minister as the Liberal candidate for the northern Sydney seat of Warringah, but her position as the Liberal candidate has been attacked on the party’s left because of her controversial views on transgender women.
The would-be MP claimed athletes who are born male have biological advantages and should not be allowed to compete against biological women – a notion which has sparked heated debate across the world.
A series of now-deleted tweets resurfaced from April 2021 where Ms Deves described transgender kids as ‘surgically mutilated and sterilised’, and compared her Protect Women’s Sport movement to standing up against the Holocaust.
Controversial Liberal candidate for the seat of Warringah Katherine Deves (pictured)
She also likened her stance on the issue as being akin to the French Resistance fighters who resisted German occupation during World War II.
The Liberal candidate has since apologised and said her language was ‘not acceptable’ – while doubling-down on her belief that transgender women should not compete in women’s sports.
Her views were slammed by her main political rival and current MP in the seat, Zali Steggall, a former Olympic bronze medallist and Austalia’s best-ever Alpine skier, and she was bombarded with a hundreds of rape and death threats about her views.
One user tagged Ms Deves on Twitter and wrote: ‘Ask your doctor if dying in fire is right for you.’
When someone stood up for the Liberal candidate, the user added: ‘I have no qualms helping to set bigots on fire … it is akin to killing vermin.’
A Twitter exchanges (pictured) about NSW Liberal candidate Katherine Deves
A NSW Police spokesman said Ms Deves has not made a formal complaint about any threats she received, but added: ‘We don’t condone death threats of any kind.’
The Liberal candidate told supporters in an email on Monday night that she had been ‘bullied in the most vile way’.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ms Deves for comment.
While many slammed the Liberal candidate as a ‘bigot’, most managed to disagree with her without threatening her personal safety.
One person said: ‘Breaking: It’s not bullying if you’re a bigot attacking a minority group. You’re just a bad person,’ one person claimed.
Another wrote: ‘The evil of the Katherine Deves issue – so intentional and wicked.’
Someone else said bullying and death threats are ‘not warranted’, but told Ms Deves that it might give her ‘an idea of what transgenders go through’.
‘Katherine Deves claims she is being bullied. Seriously. Your comments about marginalised LGBTIQ+ are way beyond bullying,’ another wrote.
‘You’re being held to account for your heinous comments, is not bullying. You are not a representative of my community in Warringah.’
In the email to supporters, Ms Deves also said: ‘My opponents, parts of the left media and Twittersphere have been unrelenting in calling for me to be disendorsed, because of past statements.’
‘I have been bullied in the most vile way and received death threats. I’m not going anywhere, as the Prime Minister said yesterday.’
On Sunday Ms Steggall was asked if she would have raced against transgender competitors during her ski event in Japan in 1998.
The Independent MP brushed aside the question saying there were ‘bigger issues’ to focus on, including harassment and equal pay and media coverage.
Katherine Deves (pictured) has been blasted with death and rape threats for her views on transgender athletes
‘I feel there’s a lot of lying going on about the actual status quo, we already have a law. The Sex Discrimination Act already deals with the situation, this is just not an issue,’ Ms Steggall said.
‘And saying that parents will be concerned is just repeating a transphobia line,’ she added – which 2BG host Ben Fordham slammed as a ‘disgraceful slur’.
Fordham told listeners on Tuesday: ‘Parents asking questions about fairness are transphobic according to Zali Steggall.’
Katherine Deves (pictured with her family) has vowed she’s ‘not going anywhere’, despite growing calls within the Liberal party for her to be disendorsed
‘Zali ignores the uneven playing field when it comes to transgender athletes. When you have someone born a man competing against women you have an unfair advantage.’
The radio host went on to say that prominent transwoman Caitlyn Jenner has gone on the record to say that women and girls in sport ‘should be protected from having to compete against biological men’.
‘So is Caitlyn Jenner, the most high-profile figure on planet earth, transphobic? Apparently, according to Zali.’
‘Zali Steggall is off with the fairies and she refuses to say if she would have been happy competing against male-born athletes when she was an Olympic skier.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk