Scott Morrison argued that “gender reassignment surgery for young adolescents” is an “important issue” – before acknowledging that gender reassignment is not available to children in Australia.
The prime minister said this on Tuesday, responding to Liberal candidate Catherine Daves, who apologized for her insulting comments about transgender children. She insisted that “mutilation” was the correct terminology for sex reassignment surgery.
The Liberal candidate for Warringah who has spent most of the campaign evading the mediacommented to Sky News on Monday, reviewing her apology as limited to how people “could perceive” her previous anti-trance propaganda.
On Tuesday, Morrison continued to support Dawes, despite the fact that he “will not use” the term “mutilation.”
He told reporters Sydney that “gender reassignment surgery for young adolescents” was an “important issue” that parents were “very concerned about” would seem to confuse surgery with other treatments for gender dysphoria.
He was then forced to admit during interrogation that people were under 18 years old cannot carry out gender confirmation surgery in Australia.
Daves came under close scrutiny in the early stages of the federal election campaign for comments on social media describing trans children as “surgically mutilated and sterilized” and comparing anti-trans activity to countering the Holocaust.
She then stated in a statement that her “language was sometimes unacceptable”.
“It hurt people and distracted me from my arguments,” she said. “I apologize for the vocabulary and the offense I caused. I pledge to continue to fight for the safety of girls and women in a respectful manner. “
Asked Monday about using the term “mutilation” to describe surgery on teens, Daves replied: “Look, this is actually the right medical-legal term.
“It’s very emotional, very confrontational and very ugly, so of course people will take offense. But when you look at cases of medical negligence, that’s the terminology they use – it’s also contained in the New Wales Crime Act. “
The Crimes Act contains female genital mutilation offenses, however states that a change of sex performed by a medical practitioner is not an offense.
Asked if this meant she was not apologizing for using the language, Daves explained: “I apologize for how people might have perceived it, and for what it contradicts, and it’s ugly, and I certainly , don’t want to offend anyone’s feelings. But that’s the right terminology. “
LGBTQ supporters were quick to point out that Daves’ contribution was insulting not only in what they said, but also for the factual inaccuracies regarding the availability of sex reassignment surgery:
On Tuesday, Morrison said the problems Daws commented on were “incredibly sensitive [and] it’s very difficult. “
“We cannot claim that such an operation is a minor procedure,” he said. “These are very significant changes in a young person’s life, and they are often irreversible.”
According to the government HealthDirect websitegender reassignment surgery is only available to adults who suffer from gender dysphoria “for some time” – while others may be “comfortable living with gender dysphoria or undergoing hormone therapy only”.
Asked why he and Daves treated teenagers when surgery was not available to them, Morrison said: “Even at any other stage, this is a major change.”
He added: “The process of discussing gender reassignment is not a surgical procedure [occur in adolescence]but the process … from which these discussions begin and when gender issues are discussed with adolescents – that’s when the process can begin. “
Minutes later, after erroneously claiming that “gender reassignment surgery” was available to teens, Morrison said the government was “cautious” about the issue.
In April, the maiden told SBS news she was “punished” by the reaction to her tweets, but she also seems to have blamed the social media platform for her own inflammatory comments.
“I recognize that attempts to prosecute arguments on complex, complex and nuanced topics should not take place on a platform that spreads resentment, division and pain,” she said. “And in the future I will behave with dignity and respect.”
Morrison, who Deves was chosen to run just a few weeks from the start of the campaignhas repeatedly defended candidate Warringah, noting that she has apologized for her remarks.
On Saturday, he said: “In terms of what Catherine Daves said in the past, she recalled them and she said they were insensitive.
“And that was my view too. So there is no opinion that I supported these earlier comments. I do not support the previous comments. “
On Tuesday, Anthony Albanez said Daves’ comment on the “mutilation” was inappropriate.
“Vulnerable people, in particular, deserve respect,” the Labor leader told reporters in Sydney.
“Everyone deserves respect. We need to look to our national political leaders for ways to unite the country and unite the people, not to play politics to divide the people. ”
Earlier, Shadow Infrastructure Minister Catherine King told ABC News Breakfast that she was not surprised that Daves declined to apologize.
“I think it’s an incredible debate that causes disagreement, and I think the Prime Minister has chosen a candidate who is causing disagreement to run in this chair, and I think it’s really awful to see it happen in context federal election campaign, ”she said.