What we cannot accept

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Will you sign the petition calling for fair and balanced religious discrimination laws that protect LGBTIQ+ people from discrimination – not a licence to discriminate for conservative religious groups?

Parliament is sitting this week, and we’re locking in meetings with every MP we can – we're tracking down staff in corridors and loitering in the parliament house coffee shop. Every signature, from every state and city adds to our collective voice.  

 

When we meet with MPs we take them our communities’ stories, and explain the impacts of laws on LGBTIQ+ communities. We have often been the targets of conservative religious groups – and this applies doubly to LGBTIQ+ people of faith who are targets for conversion ‘therapy’ and people of colour who are forced to choose between different parts of their identity. That’s why it’s so important that any protection from discrimination is balanced to respect the rights of everyone it might impact. 

 

We will never accept:  

 

  • Broad ‘anti-detriment’, ‘free speech’ or ‘freedom of religion’ provisionswhich allow for a someone to express harmful and hateful opinions about LGBTIQ+ people with impunity. 
  • Preventing an employer from creating a safe and supportive environment.  
  • Privileging freedom of religion over other human rights protects. 
  • Overriding state-based protections by federal law. 

Australia has come a long way in welcoming diversity in our communities. We are a live-and-let-live society who value fairness and equality. Yet there are still people in our communities, some LGBTIQ+ and some not, who face extraordinary threats to their safety. They should be protected from discrimination and shielded from hate speech and the threat of violence.  

 

We stand firm with people of colour and people of faith in their need for fair and affirming protections from discrimination. There can be no doubt that people from religious minorities and people of colour are under attack in Australia - white supremacy is one of the most violent and prevalent threats faced by these communities, which includes many LGBTIQ+ people, and we will stand with them in their fight against persecution. 

 

There is a vocal but dangerous minority which seeks to attack others under the guise of religion – including increased targeting of trans and gender diverse communities. 

 

Our opponents have no scruples in trying to divide LGBTIQ+ communities from people of colour and faith communities. When we buy into their tactic that this is about Christians versus LGBTIQ+ people, we lose. We ignore the LGBTIQ+ people of faith in our communities, and pretend they don’t exist. We accept that the ACL and other minority views speak for ‘all’ Christian people, which we know to be false. 

 

Will you stand together with LGBTIQ+ people from all communities in calling for fair anti-discrimination protection? Click here to add your name.  

 

Here’s what we know about the Bill so far. The Attorney-General has promised that the Bill will:  

 

  • Follow the basic architecture of discrimination bills, like the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)  (the law that protects LGBTIQ+ people from discrimination)  
  • Include religion as a protected attribute and also protect people without a religious belief 
  • Include protections from direct and indirect discrimination  

 

Based on this information this Bill is shaping up to be a standard anti-discrimination law but we will be watching to make sure the it doesn’t contain any of those regressive measures that would set equality backwards for LGBTIQ+ people.  

 

We will continue to meet with MPs from all parties to ensure the Bill is as good as it can be. They need to know that there are things we will never accept. 

 

We will continue to fight bad exemptions in anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people that allow religious organisations to discriminate against LGBTQ people in schools, hospitals and social services. A fair and balanced Religious Discrimination Act paves the way for getting rid of these unfair exemptions from other federal laws.  

 

Conservative religious groups are rallying their supporters, and while they don’t represent the majority of Australian’s they are loud, well-resourced and have the ear of key decision makers. We need you with us. Add your name now: https://equalityaustralia.org.au/freedom-from-discrimination/ask-the-pm-to-meet-lgbtiq-advocates/

 

Together,

 

Lee Carnie

 

Director of Legal Advocacy

Equality Australia

 
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Equality Australia :
Level 17, 461 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia Wide
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