The Liberal Party's Tasmanian division has once again shown it's not the broad church it claims to be.
Annual get-togethers of political parties can be interesting affairs, with the normally behind-the-scenes membership given the opportunity to come to the fore.
This year's Liberal state council generally fell short, however, of the previous efforts of rank and file members to highlight divisions within their party and embarrass their parliamentary members.
The motions they brought on for debate were fairly insipid, which might highlight just how much COVID has overshadowed politics - and everything else - in 2020.
The one standout at the weekend conference was a successful motion to repeal Tasmania's so-called gender laws.
That is, the law passed last year without the government's support to allow gender to be optional on birth certificates.
It only took a few minutes for the motion to be carried over the one dissenting voice. Sue Hickey deserves some credit for being that voice - and just for being there.
While Ms Hickey is officially a Liberal, her decision back in 2018 to accept the opposition parties' nomination to become the Speaker was a betrayal of her colleagues and there would, understandably, have been little love for her on the conference floor.
Her argument notwithstanding, the Liberal faithful voted against the gender laws after being told that empathy does not make good policy.
Maybe not, but it does make for more tolerant, more accepting people.
It's disappointing really that the party's membership cannot understand that someone living as a woman may not want to take to a prospective employer a birth certificate that says she was born as a male.
Or, as Ms Hickey was saying, that parents of a child born intersex, that is, with ambiguous genitalia, might prefer not to have gender listed.
Importantly, and fortunately, Liberal members don't get to dictate policy to the MPs who wear their colours.
So this motion may serve to do no more than remind minorities how welcoming - or not - they should feel in the party.
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