22 February 2023 Press Release: Explosive Emails Expose MP’s Extreme Right Wing Views
A freedom of information request from Sex Work Law Reform Victoria uncovered almost 100 emails from the former Melton City Councillor which attack legal sex work, transgender rights, abortion laws, and opposing Victoria’s ban on gay conversion therapy. These emails, sent between 2020 and 2022, frequently invoke Deeming’s fundamentalist Christian views. The emails were provided to Sex Work Law Reform Victoria by Melton City Council.
The dozens of emails reveal Moira Deeming’s intent to change Victoria’s abortion laws, her fierce opposition to LGBTIQ rights and sex workers’ rights. Overwhelmingly, she attacks the transgender rights movement.
Included among the emails is a detailed plan for an internal (not intended for the public) speech to a Liberal Party branch meeting.
This cache of emails is a warning of what can happen when hardliners secure endorsement from a major political party. These emails reveal extreme positions which are outside the political mainstream, for example, mandatory STI testing for all sex work clients prior to each visit to a sex worker, or her claim that she won Liberal pre-selection due to divine intervention:
“I did not win [Liberal Party preselection] on merit….I won because God arranged it.”
“The reason we initiated this FOI process is because we believe Mrs Deeming is seeking to destroy popular and progressive Victorian Government reforms aimed at protecting a range of human rights. These emails highlight the danger of electing people who seek to bring their religious views into politics”, says Lisa Dallimore, President of Sex Work Law Reform Victoria. “Deeming presents a risk to women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and to the LGBTIQ and sex worker communities. The documents are a reminder of why voters and political parties need to know candidates’ real views before an election.”
The Victorian Liberal Party dumped Bernie Finn last year for his extreme views on abortion – Sex Work Law Reform Victoria suggests they also dump Deeming in the same way.
Some examples of the emails revealed by our FOI request:
- email by Moira Deeming dated 21 October 2021 “Council officers do [not] have any of the required weapons, combat training, psychological training, or legislated enforcement powers that would be required to ensure any level of safety in this industry [the sex industry] at all.”
- undated document “I am a conservative Christian with over ten years’ experience…..loving real gay and trans people.”
Read all of Moira Deeming’s emails in full here:
Sex Work Law Reform Victoria is a not-for-profit sex workers’ rights organisation led by Victorian sex workers. Founded in 2018, the organisation advocates to all levels of government regarding the legal rights of sex workers in Victoria. Sex Work Law Reform Victoria has put sex workers’ rights on the political agenda in Victoria, Australia, paving the way for the passage of the Sex Work Decriminalisation Act 2022 (Vic).
24 April 2023 – The Murder of Trans Escort Kimberley McRae
Kimberley McRae was a writer and transgender escort in Sydney. In February 2023, one of her clients was convicted of manslaughter after he killed her in her apartment. Matthew from SWLRV is interviewed by transgender activist Sasja Sydek on community radio station 3CR. He pays respect to her life and her work and breaks down what happened in her home and how the law and courts treated the crime committed against her.
19 April 2023 – Sex Work Decriminalisation and the City of Monash
We publish emails obtained via freedom of information from councillors at the City of Monash to uncover how councillors and constituents are responding to the decriminalisation of sex work. Constituent quote:
“Could you clarify how it is possible for Council to ban smoking in public places/areas but not be able to regulate massage parlours in the same way?”
Read the emails here
Q: Isn’t sex work already decriminalised in Victoria?
Q: Isn’t sex work already legalised in Victoria?
A: Yes and no. The existing Victorian laws are overly complex and criminalise most sex workers.
Q: What about human trafficking in the sex industry?
A: Sex work and human trafficking are entirely different. We condemn any form of human trafficking. Australia has in place powerful laws that criminalise human trafficking in all industries, including the sex industry. We support the current anti-trafficking laws. Read more on our Human Trafficking page.
Q. Doesn’t decriminalisation encourage more people to take up sex work?
No. Surveys showed that the number of sex workers in New Zealand remained static following the introduction of decriminalisation.
Q: Does decriminalisation allow human trafficking?
A: No. Human trafficking remains a criminal offence.
Q: Doesn’t decriminalising sex work lead to more human trafficking?
Q: Do we support the Nordic Model (Swedish Model) of criminalising sex work clients?
A: No. The Nordic Model (Swedish Model) of sex work is favoured by some anti-sex work activists and applies blanket criminal penalties to all clients of all sex workers. We view sex work as work and support Amnesty International’s view that full decriminalisation of sex work is the best way to prevent violence against sex workers. Sex workers across Australia strongly endorse full decriminalisation and report that it creates safer and healthier working conditions for sex workers.
Q: Are we mainly focused on reforming street sex work laws?
In association with Sex Work Law Reform Victoria, film students at Deakin University present ‘Men at Work’, a six minute documentary about male sex work in Melbourne, Australia. The film tells the story of a young and determined male escort. For more information about this film, see the ‘Men at Work’ FaceBook page.
© Sex Work Law Reform Victoria 2023
Last updated: 16 October 2023