OII VP calls for more trans and intersex inclusive marriage equality bills
Tony Briffa, vice president of Organisation Intersex International Australia (OII), has released a statement acknowledging the work done by advocates towards marriage equality in NSW and Tasmania, but urges a new bill be drafted that is inclusive of intersex and trans people.
Briffa is let down by Australian Marriage Equality’s failure to include trans and intersex people in the legislation and says it is not ‘marriage equality’.
“I support marriage equality and acknowledge the great work done by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) over the years. I am disappointed, however, that they are now pushing legislation in NSW and Tasmania that will exclude some intersex and trans people from marriage. This clearly is not “marriage equality” which is why I am calling on AME to either support amended bills that are inclusive of all LGBTI people or change their organisation’s name. Equality is equality. We are a community and should not leave anyone behind.”
Briffa praised the ACT Legislative Assembly for adopting legislation that will introduce true marriage equality.
“This is the kind of legislation we need to push.
“My wife and I were married in New Zealand three weeks ago where true marriage equality exists. My sex did not matter for the purpose of marriage because in New Zealand marriage is about a commitment made by two people irrespective of sex. As an intersex person who is open about being born biologically both male and female, this is very important. The current marriage laws in Australia only allow marriage to be between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. This means people like me are unable to marry anyone unless we deny our true biological selves and pretend to be one sex and in a heterosexual relationship.”
Briffa believes that just as Civil Unions were rejected by the LGBTI community because they would not provide legal equality to same-sex couples, the proposed marriage equality bills should be rejected as they exclude trans and intersex people.
“We should not go down the path of state based laws that exclude sections of our community. Let’s work as a cohesive community to ensure we are all equal and that we can all marry irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. Nothing more, nothing less.
Briffa looks forward to working with AME to “achieve true marriage equality in Australia”.