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Officials supported transgender bullies

In brief
  • Public discussion has been stifled on a law allowing anyone to choose their sex.
  • A concerned women’s group felt it was dangerous for women and also undermined lesbianism and women’s sport.
  • Some local councils tried to block public meetings, but a judge intervened.
  • The controversial law did not attract much attention and passed quietly, but the concerns remain.

Trans activists say any resistance is hate

In March 2023 in New Zealand, trans activists stepped up their censorship game, failing to stop woman’s rights activist Posie Parker from entering the country, but succeeding in preventing her rallies with mob violence seemingly encouraged by the Government. How did we get here?

In July 2021 women’s rights group Speak Up For Women (SUFW) paid for a billboard in central Wellington. It simply stated a dictionary definition of a woman: “noun: adult human female”. Within 24 hours the billboard was gone – Go Media “removed the billboard as soon as it started fielding calls from offended New Zealanders”, claiming a possible breach of advertising standards.

Wellington Pride condemned the billboard as “blatant transphobia”. Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry posted on Facebook: “If this group needs a venue in the Hutt, I’ve got some nice new waste bins they can use?”

The billboard was to raise awareness and discussion of the proposed Births, Death, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act that would allow people to change their sex on their birth certificate, at will. The law passed in December 2021 and makes it impossible to tell from the registry that someone’s sex has been changed. The purpose of this change was to give full legal backing to the transgender ideology that says a person’s sex is self-identified, independent of biology, and changeable back and forth.

SUFW was concerned about the ramifications of the law in removing sex-based rights, such as the ability to have women-only spaces, and exclude men from lesbian dating apps and women’s sports. They also opposed allowing biological men to be placed in women’s prisons.

Officials supported transgender bullies - Centrist
A controversial statement in 2021.

Political opposition not permitted

Denying their billboard was just the latest in a series of actions against the women’s group.

In October 2019, Massey University cancelled SUFW’s event “Feminism 2020”, saying it was a health and safety risk due to opposition from Massey’s student association. ACT Party leader David Seymour offered to host the meeting at Parliament instead.

In 2021 after receiving public complaints, Palmerston North City Council attempted to prevent SUFW from meeting in the central library to discuss the birth certificate law. The High Court blocked the council, with the judge saying SUFW “cannot rationally be described as a hate group”.

Speak Up For Women said “We are just a growing group of women who want to discuss our legal rights. We are not seeking to harm anyone and in fact are simply advocating that the existing law should remain.” and “This is a smear campaign and we are being bullied.”

Former Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said “The conversation which is being had around the country has caused angst for the trans community in particular”.

Transgender activists have sought to prevent public discussion against their agenda, with no interest in finding common ground.

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