‘All People Are Treated Equitably’: Girl Guides Defends Decision to Sack CEO Over Trans Tweet

By Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.
February 18, 2022Updated: February 18, 2022

Girl Guides Western Australia (WA) has stood by its decision to sack its CEO, who opposed the organisation’s trans-inclusion policy, saying it is committed to providing an environment that promotes diversity and “inclusive practices.”

It comes after Girl Guides WA Former CEO Karyn Lisignoli, who was fired for seeking legal advice on changing the Girl Guides WA’ gender-inclusive constitution, warned the century-old institution has “capitulated” to the transgender ideology as well as “cancel culture.”

The Girl Guides WA constitution currently allows “any person under the age of 18 years who lives their life as female” to join the organisation.

The phrasing concerned Lisignoli, who on Dec. 16 reached out to women’s rights lawyer Katherine Deves by commenting under her Twitter post about the UK Supreme Court ruling against gender-neutral passports. She asked: “I’ve noticed our constitution panders to this ideology. Can I DM you to find the legal standing on this? If we change it back to biological female are we breaking the law?”

Perth-based LGBITQ+ publication OUTinPerth picked up the exchange and sought comment from Lisignoli and Girl Guides. On Dec. 18, Girl Guides WA chairwoman Yvonne Power terminated Lisignoli’s employment on the grounds of causing “a serious and imminent risk to the reputation of the organisation.”

Lisignoli said on Feb. 14 that allowing self-identified females to join the institution would “create an absolute huge loophole where predatory men can have access to women and girls.”

In a media statement to The Epoch Times on Feb. 17, Girl Guides WA did not respond directly to questions regarding Lisignoli’s termination and comment.

Instead, the institution emphasised its commitment to fostering a “respectful, open, and safe environment” where “all people are treated equitably and with mutual respect” regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, additional needs, family structure or lifestyle.

Girl Guides WA also noted it endorsed “inclusive practices” that “actively support diversity and counteract bias and prejudice” as part of the Girl Guides Australia Diversity and Inclusion policy, which is drawn up to reflect the state and commonwealth anti-discrimination and equal opportunity law.

“Application of this policy means that ‘girls and women’ who identify as, and live in the community, as females are welcomed into Girl Guiding,” Girl Guides WA said.

Under the diversity guidance, any child, including those who are transgender girls, are allowed to “use the bathroom/change room that corresponds to their gender identity provided that they feel comfortable to do so.”

“As a Youth Member of your unit, the girl will participate in the same activities as all other Youth Members of your unit. This includes sleeping in the same area as the other Youth Members of your unit,” the guidance said.

Epoch Times Photo
Girl Guides Western Australia terminated former chief executive Karyn Lisignoli’s employment for her comment on its transgender policy on Feb. 16, 2022. (provided)

But the former CEO argued “inclusion has never meant that everybody gets access to everywhere” as there are “different boundaries and standards.”

“Girl Guides is, by definition, an exclusive breed service,” Lisignoli told The Epoch Times, “It excludes males, just like medical school excludes people who don’t have high enough grades, just like male and female sports are based on biological sex and differences between the two.”

She added that children with body dysphoria can attend mixed-sex spaces, scouts, or access similar services provided by the LGBTQ groups.

“When the LGBT groups say that they want inclusion for gender identity, gender identity clashes with biological sex… When it comes to safety, our biological sex has to take precedence over gender identity, because… men are bigger, stronger, more powerful, and men have the ability to rape women.”

Lisignoli also noted she saw a “social contagion effect” where a growing number of children with mental health problems are led to believe they are trans after being “groomed online by trans activists.”

They are then “labeled and pushed onto puberty blockers and medicalisation,” which is “very difficult to back out of,” with some of them ending up with permanent disfigurement after de-transitioning.

“So they go from being very upset, very insecure, to suddenly kind of be applauded for being trans… And being entitled on some identity is the worst thing to support those young people that genuinely need therapy and need support, and the love and assistance in a compassionate, non-affirming manner,” she said.

“If a young girl walks in to see a therapist, and she’s got anorexia, the therapist doesn’t say, okay, yes, I agree with you, you’re too fat. Here are some diet pills.”

“This affirmation model is a model that goes completely against the normal therapeutic ways of operating, and in the UK and the U.S., they’re pushing for it now.”