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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 854 ..

12 pages of amendments. Mine were circulated twice-it is the same set of amendments. Ms Dundas's amendments are in fact identical to those of the government.

Mr Smyth: Or are yours identical to hers?

MR STANHOPE: Look, this is government legislation.

Concern has been expressed that the definition of transgender person should not reinforce the binary notion of gender by referring to a person identifying as being of an opposite sex. By doing so, the definition does not take account of the fact that there are some transgender people who do not identify as either male or female. To address this concern, I will be moving, and have circulated, amendments to the definition of transgender person to substitute the expression of "different sex"with the expression "opposite sex". The amendment will directly address the issue of perpetuating the use of "sex"in only a binary way. This amendment will have the added advantage of making the definition of transgender person consistent with the definition of domestic partnership. That is also expressed in the context of the question whether they are of different sexes or the same sex.

The government has also received advice from intersex advocacy and support groups that it is inappropriate to include intersex people under the general definition of transgender person, as the two are quite different. While including special provisions for searches of transgender people as appropriate, the government has been advised that there is no need for similar provisions for intersex people. We are moving amendments to address that concern.

The government amendments also address the fact that it is not always appropriate for a transgender person to be searched by a person who is of the same sex as the sex with which the transgender person identifies. Depending on the individual transgender person's circumstances, they may or may not feel comfortable being searched by a person of the same as their identified gender. (Extension of time granted.) For example, a female-to-male transgender person may feel far less threatened if searched by a woman.

There may also be circumstances where a transgender person does not identify as either male or female, where it may not be possible for such a person to be searched by a person of the same sex. To address this issue, the government amendments that I will be moving, include amendments to provide that a transgender person may nominate whether they wish to be searched by a male or a female.

While this is a departure from the general policy that a person should be searched by a person of the same sex, I believe it is justified in the case of transgender persons, because of particular issues body searches may pose for a transgender person.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, the government is keen to proceed with this legislation, and we are thankful for the range and level of support we have received for the legislation during this debate today. I acknowledge that there are other views around the definition of domestic relationship and how best to proceed to achieve the reforms we are seeking to achieve today. Ms Dundas has a different approach-far broader than the approach being pursued by the government. We believe it is an approach that affects basically notions around domestic relationship, as currently apply to heterosexual relationships.

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