The Equal Opportunity Commission has summoned Liberal Tasmanian Senator Claire Chandler over remarks she made about free speech and that women's sports and toilets should remain as spaces exclusively for biological women.
The commissioner allegedly goes on to say in the letter that it is arguable that following shifts towards unisex toilets, it is no longer necessary to have separate toilets based on sex.
Senator Chandler told The Epoch Times on Sept. 7 that separate spaces for females, such as changerooms and women’s sport, exist for "very good reasons of fairness, privacy, dignity, and safety."
"Having facilities designed for women isn’t about suggesting any particular male is a threat; it’s about having a consistent, community-wide rule which reduces the risk of harm to women," she told The Epoch Times.
She's also concerned that many authorities, departments, and institutions can't or won't say what their definition of a woman is.
"Now there are activists who say that not only it is wrong to point out the biological reality of sex, they're also compelling people to subscribe to a definition of 'woman' which is chosen by activists," she said.
Chandler said the commissioner is compelling her to attend compulsory mediation with the Equal Opportunity Commission complainant.
The Tasmanian senator said another part of the complaint was concerning her response to an email she received after the op-ed was published.
"The email I received asked me to clarify if I understand the difference between sex and gender," she said.
"In my reply, I said: 'I do understand the difference. That's why I've made the point in my article that women's sport, women's toilets, and women's change rooms are designed for people of the female sex and should remain that way," she said.
The Equal Opportunity Commission told The Epoch Times that it was unable to confirm, or otherwise, if a complaint had been lodged due to provisions under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998.
The Epoch Times also reached out to advocacy group Women Speak Tasmania for comment but did not receive a response.
LGBT+ rights group Equality Tasmania has reportedly invited Chandler to meet transgender Tasmanians face to face.
“That’s why we have invited Senator Chandler to meet and hear from these young Tasmanians and their families.
"With every right, including free speech, comes a responsibility not to exercise that right in a way that harms others.
“We are pleased Tasmania has a strong independent umpire, like the Anti-Discrimination Commission, to judge where the balance should lie.
“Tasmania’s law against humiliating and intimidating language has been upheld by State Parliament twice which indicates it has widespread community support.
“The Australian High Court has found free speech has to be balanced with other rights, and the Tasmanian Supreme Court has found that our state law against intimidating and humiliating language does not violate free speech," Burton said.