Australian Defence Force may revoke non-binary inclusive policy

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As we reported just yesterday, the ADF has appointed the first non-binary cadet ever (and now there are two of them), but not everything went as planned as the Australian army started to stand against the new gender diversity policy. The junior minister for Defence Personnel instructed the department to find a way out the current protections that are in place for non-binary soldiers. It also emphasized on the necessity of protecting women from gender discrimination. It was reported that the order came about as a result of media inquiries about the Australian Defence Force Academy’s first non-binary cadets. If the legislation is successfully revoked, this would get rid of any protections in place for gender-diverse military personnel. It would also remove other protections that fall under the Sex Discrimination Act, in part related to pregnancy and marital status. If successful, the Department Of Defence would be the first Commonwealth government organisation allowed to discriminate since the reform of anti-discrimination laws in 2012. Doing so would undermine the efforts of the Attorney General’s Department and the Office for Women. Prominent figures including the Minister for Women and the former Sex Discrimination Commissioner have also pushed for gender equality in the past.

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