The state government of Andrew has instructed Victorian public servants to avoid words such as “wife,” “husband,” “madam” or “sir” while dealing with LGBTIQ+ people.
Judges would also move towards the use of gender-neutral words such as ‘citizen’ instead of conventional terms such as ‘mister.’
The 11-page document (pdf) released this week explains how public servants should not “exclude” and “devalue” non-heterosexual people and their relationships by assuming the gender of an individual. The documents add that while most men use “he” and most women use “she,” some people use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they.”
Those who get it wrong are encouraged to “apologise promptly” and not give up until they get it right,” says the document.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said that this strategy is about being “polite,” Newscorp’s Herald Sun said.
“I was always brought up with the notion that it’s always best to be polite, and it’s being polite to someone to not take assumptions, as to their marital status, their sexuality or their role in life,” he said.
However, Bella d’Abrera, of the think tank Institute of Public Affairs, told Newscorp that the government of Andrews was “obsessed” with identity politics.
“The obsession with whether Victorian public servants should be using ‘wife’ or ‘husband’ epitomises an unelected bureaucratic class obsessed with identity politics, and not focused on the needs of mainstream Victorians,” she said.
“It tells you everything you need to know about the Andrews Government that it is more focused on policing the language of public servants than getting the 500,000 unemployed Victorians devastated by its draconian lockdowns back to work.”
Rita Panahi, a conservative columnist of opinion, said in an op-ed that the “departure of linguistic territory” to the left was “divisive” and “destructive.”
“The trans activist agenda has had enormous success in silencing critics by attacking anyone who questions or corrects falsehoods as dangerous bigots,” she said.
The LGBTIQ Inclusive Language Guide is part of the Andrews Government’s LGBTIQ+ Plan, which was developed in 2014 to achieve equality for LGBTIQ+ communities with all parts of the Victorian Government.”
The recent push for a similar gender-neutral approach in New South Wales has met with opposition from the state government.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said that it was “completely unacceptable” for public service workers to lecture on neutral gender pronouns as the state worked towards economic recovery in the midst of the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We can’t have people get rid of their own identities for other people’s inclusion,” Perrottet told 2GB radio on Sept. 7.