In a recent development, the New South Wales (NSW) police have dropped the Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) that was issued against women’s rights campaigner Kirralie Smith. The AVO was issued against Smith after she made comments on social media regarding a biological male participating in women’s football matches on the central coast. The transgender player, Riley Denis, had faced criticism for reportedly injuring female players, leading to more than 12,000 complaints about the player being lodged with Football NSW. As a result, Smith was issued with an AVO that banned her from discussing the issue.
However, just as the hearing to validate the AVO was about to begin, the police withdrew the order. This turn of events came as a positive surprise for Smith, who expressed her gratitude to former NSW Attorney General Greg Smith and the Solve Legal team for their support in defending her. Smith even shared her joy on her birthday, stating, “What a gift for my birthday today.”
The withdrawal of the AVO marked a victory for Smith, but her fight is far from over. Despite this win, she still faces two vilification complaints for her comments regarding the need for integrity in women’s sport. Additionally, a second male competing in female sports has sought an AVO against her. Despite these challenges, Smith remains determined to defend women’s sex-based rights and the freedom to have necessary conversations regarding gender in sports.
Smith’s legal team had prepared to argue that an AVO should not be used to silence free speech or political opinions. Smith firmly believes that stating males do not belong in female sports is not an act of violence or incitement; rather, it is a fundamental right to engage in public debates on such matters.
The case has sparked discussions about the intersection of gender identity and women’s rights in sports. It highlights the need for open and respectful dialogue surrounding these complex issues. Smith’s victory in the withdrawal of the AVO serves as a reminder that free speech should be protected, even in the context of sensitive and contentious topics.
While Smith can now take some time off to celebrate with her family, she remains committed to continuing her fight for women’s sex-based rights and the political freedom to have important conversations. This case sheds light on the ongoing debates surrounding the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports and the challenges faced by those who raise objections.
As the conversation around gender identity in sports continues to evolve, it is essential to find a balance that respects the rights and identities of all athletes involved. The withdrawal of the AVO in Kirralie Smith’s case signifies a step towards recognizing the importance of open dialogue and fair representation in women’s sports. It remains to be seen how this case will influence future discussions and decisions regarding transgender participation in sports.