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Thursday Watercooler


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The state of Tasmania becomes a little safer for some of its most vulnerable.

Tonight’s musical selection is David Bowie performing, “Where Are We Now?” from the album The Next Day. Thanks to @RealLipsMcGee for the suggestion.

The Australian state of Tasmania recently strengthened their protections for Transgender and Intersexual individuals, making them the latest political entity to institute protections in favor of these vulnerable groups. The Star Observer reports:

Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks said the bill brought a number of welcome changes to the state’s anti-discrimination law.

“Protection from discrimination under the Tasmanian Act has now been extended to the grounds of gender identity and intersex,” Banks said, explaining the bill brings the state into line with the federal Sex Discrimination Amendment Bill passed earlier this year.

“The amendments also extend the existing protection from humiliating, intimidating, ridiculing, offending or insulting conduct to the grounds of race, age, disability, sexual orientation and lawful sexual conduct.”

The bill also changes the way complaints made under Tasmanian anti-discrimination law are handled, which Banks argues will benefit all parties involved in a complaint process.

Tasmanian transgender advocate Martine Delaney praised the amendments, highlighting the importance of specific protections for transgender and intersex people in anti-discrimination law.

“It’s a very welcome development. The Bill specifically identifies intersex and transgender persons, ensuring better protections for people who are among the Tasmanians most vulnerable to abuse and discrimination,” Delaney said.

I find it interesting, and beneficial that the law specifically targets Intersex individuals, which I think makes it unusual among such laws. Of course, such laws seem unwilling to affect those who seem determined to feel threatened by a less binary, less rigid (and more scientific) expression of human gender. At least, however, it’s more evidence that their bigotry is increasingly unacceptable to human society.

What’s on your mind tonight? It’s an open conversation in the comments.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and