Legal experts say the donation law banning the wearing of “gay” clothing by students and staff is discriminatory.
The Australian Gay and Lesbian Legal Network (AGLN) said on Tuesday it had filed a case against the Australian government on behalf of the two women who are suing the government for the provision of “barbie” clothing at a Canberra school.
The women, who are the first gay people to be named in the Supreme Court of Australia, were born in Tasmania and are members of the Christian group the United Church of Australia (UCA).
The ABC has been told they were the only children in the school and their parents had chosen to allow their children to wear “barbies”.
“I’m happy for them,” Mr Justice Roberts told the women’s lawyer, Sarah McLean.
“I don’t think that the legislation is going to be able to protect the interests of the children, they are not being protected by the legislation.”
They are being protected from the fact that they are children.
“The children are being taken from the children and they are being forced into a situation that they would never have been in if they had not chosen to wear a Barbie suit.”
The women’s legal team said the government was discriminating against gay people and their families by not allowing them to wear their “barbs” to school.
“There is a long history of discrimination against gay and lesbian Australians in Australia,” Mr McLean said.
“When the constitution came into effect in 1997, there was a proposal to create an all-girls school but the government decided against it.”
The law was brought in by the then Labor government in 1996 to allow girls aged between eight and 12 to attend a school, but only if they wore a “gay or lesbian” suit.
The law has since been repealed.
The ABC asked the government about the issue but did not receive a response.
A spokeswoman said it was not possible to confirm the identities of the women, but said they had been the first of their gender to be formally recognised by the state.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not recognised by this state as being members of any class or group in the Australian community,” the spokeswoman said.
The spokesperson said the legislation “was passed to protect students and teachers, and it is designed to ensure that the children are provided with a range of appropriate attire”.
“The law is designed not to discriminate between children of different gender identities,” she said.
“It is designed simply to ensure the children’s well-being and safety is protected.”
The ABC understands the women are the only ones named in a legal action by the legal network.
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