The Australian Senate has passed a motion brought by One Nation banning the use of "distorted" gender-neutral language such as "chestfeeding" in official government materials.

One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts put forward the motion in the Upper House on Wednesday, with the Morrison government voting to approve the ban.

The motion narrowly passed 33-31.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Jonathon "Jonno" Duniam read a statement outlining the government's position before the vote.

"The government supports the rights of individuals to make use of any pronouns or descriptors they prefer, while encouraging respect for the preferences of others," he said.

"The government will use language in communications that is appropriate for the purpose of those communications and is respectful of its audiences."

Mr Roberts' motion stated that "our fundamental biology and relationships are represented through the following descriptors - mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, boy, girl, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, female, male, man, woman, lady, gentleman, Mr, Mrs, Ms, sir, madam, dad, mum, husband, wife".

"Broad scale genuine inclusion cannot be achieved through distortions of biological and relational descriptors," it said.

"An individual's right to choose their descriptors and pronouns for personal use must not dehumanise the human race and undermine gender."

One Nation Senators Malcolm Roberts and Pauline Hanson. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
One Nation Senators Malcolm Roberts and Pauline Hanson. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Mr Roberts referred to a doctor from Queensland who "reports incidences of young children feeling stressed and panicked about whether it is okay to use the words boy and girl, and pushing gender-neutral language is no replacement for appropriate emotional and psychological support for children while growing up".

The motion called on the federal government to "reject the use of distorted language such as gestational/non-gestational parent, chest-feeding, human milk, lactating parent, menstruators, birthing/non-birthing parent, and ensure all federal government and federal government funded agencies do not include these terms in their material, including legislation, websites, employee documentation and training materials".

Greens Senator Janet Rice asked to speak but was denied permission, Daily Mail Australia reported.

Posting on Twitter shortly after, she slammed the Morrison government for voting in favour of the "bigoted" motion.


"I expect this sh*t from One Nation," she wrote.

"But the Morrison Government just voted to support One Nation's disgusting, bigoted Senate motion trying to deny the identity of trans and non binary people. So the motion passed. What happened to governing for all Australians? Scumbags!"

It comes after staff at the Australian National University were asked to use "parent-inclusive language" such as "chestfeeding" instead of "breastfeeding" and "human milk" rather than "mother's milk".

The Gender-Inclusive Handbook, published last year by the university's Gender Institute, likewise said the terms "mother" and "father" should be replaced with "gestational" and "nongestational" parent.

Meanwhile, a UK hospital last month issued similar "gender-inclusive" language guidelines, telling staff to use terms like "birthing parents" and "human milk" to avoid offending transgender people.


Originally published as 'Scumbags': Fury at One Nation victory

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