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Kelly Ellis: Trans rights are going backwards

Tue 7 Jun 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A prominent transgender advocate and lawyer says she believes while Lexie Matheson’s much-deserved recognition is to be congratulated, the New Zealand Government should be ashamed of its stance on gender identity in the Human Rights Act. Lexie Matheson is to be made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to performing arts, education and LGBTIQ rights. Lawyer Kelly Ellis says Matheson’s recognition is “very important for the trans community and it's great to see someone who has worked so hard in such a challenging area get due recognition. “If we had more people like Lexie selflessly putting themselves forward, our community would be a lot better off. Lexie has always stood tall when it comes to the fight for transgender rights and this recognition is very timely.” While Matheson is being recognised for services including LGBTIQ rights, Ellis says she doesn’t think trans rights in New Zealand have gained the same recognition. “Instead we're actually seeing our rights going backwards,” she says. “The continued blocking of the inclusion of gender identity in the Human Rights Act is something the Government should be ashamed of, but clearly doesn't give a fat rat's arse about. “Lexie's recognition is a good thing and is to be applauded. Let's hope it moves trans rights further up into the consciousness of an uncaring Government.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 7th June 2016 - 4:03pm

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