Brethren apologise for ads

Hobart, Tazmania - Two Tasmanian members of the reclusive religious sect, the Exclusive Brethren, have publicly apologised for ads published in the lead- up to the last state election.

The ads - entitled A Genuine Concern - attacked the policies of the Tasmanian Greens regarding transgender and intersex issues, and will be the subject of an Anti- Discrimination Tribunal hearing in Hobart next week.

And while the hearing is still expected to take place next week, two members of the Brethren involved in publishing the ads - Roger Unwin and Graham Lewis - have today published an advertisement in Tasmania's three newspapers apologising for any offence caused by the ads.

"Although it was never our intention, we acknowledge some people may have been offended or hurt by the language used in the advertisements," the ad reads.

"We apologise sincerely to those people."

Hobart-based transgender woman Martine Delaney - who lodged the complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal - said it was a welcome concession.

"My wish has always been to ensure election debates are conducted without vulnerable minorities being unfairly targeted," she said.

The apology from Mr Unwin and Mr Lewis means there will only be one defendant in next week's Anti- Discrimination Tribunal hearing - the Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party.

Liberal Party state president Sam McQuestin yesterday ruled out offering an apology for the ads.

"They've brought two other claims against us, which we have successfully defended," he said.

"We're looking forward to the hearing next week and having the matter behind us."