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A new bill put forward in Tasmanian parliament could help to protect people who don't identify with binary gender labels - but some argue the proposals are 'completely unacceptable'.
The bill was put forward by the Labour and Green opposition and could make it illegal for people not to refer to people by their preferred pronoun. It would also allow parents not to assign their child a gender on their birth certificate.
The bill was passed in Tasmania's lower house last month, with Liberal Speaker, Sue Hickey, going against her party and casting the deciding vote in favour of Labor and the Greens.
In order for the bill to become law, it must now pass the state's upper house.
Dr Greg Walsh, from the University of Notre Dame Australia, praised the bill, but said the pronoun enforcement was a step too far.
Speaking to The Australian, he said: "The Tasmanian parliament's proposed changes to its anti-discrimination legislation could make it illegal for a person to not accept a transgender person's gender identity.
"Although it is admirable that parliamentarians want to ensure those who are transgender are respected, the attempt to use state power to force individuals to use language that contradicts their deeply held beliefs is completely unacceptable."
But Greens leader, Cassy O'Connor, hailed the bill in parliament.
According to the Daily Mail, she said: "These changes will make people, who we should all care about, feel happier, safer and more included."
The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has previously criticised Labor over gender law reforms.
Writing on Twitter, he said: "A Liberal national government will never remove gender from birth certificates, licenses and passports - who are Labor kidding? Get real.
"This is the problem with Labor, obsessed with nonsense like removing gender from birth certificates rather than lower electricity prices, reducing tax for hard-working families and small businesses."
The prime minister was heavily criticised for his remarks.
Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a spokesman for Transgender Victoria, said: "Yet again, we see a destructive statement from someone in a position of prominence and influence.
"To attempt to link the words transgender and nonsense is vilification and totally inappropriate."
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