Brisbane rally to oppose federal Religious Discrimination Bill

religious discrimination brisbane protest rally religious freedom
Photo: Jordan Hirst

LGBTIQ advocates are holding a protest rally in Brisbane this weekend to oppose the Morrison Government’s “bigoted” Religious Discrimination Bill.

The event, organised by Equal Love Brisbane, will start on Saturday, 1pm at Brisbane Square near the Queen Street Mall.

“Conservative politicians and lobbyists are on the warpath against LGBTI rights,” the group wrote on Facebook.

“We reject exemptions to equality, and we reject the right to discriminate.

“‘Religious freedom’ is nothing more than a Trojan Horse for a right-wing minority of employers, politicians and megachurch hierarchs, fighting to extend their power and privilege.”

Last month, federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said the long-delayed legislation would return by the end of the year.

LGBTIQ advocates slammed the two earlier drafts of the Religious Discrimination Bill as discriminatory and unfair.

They argued the previous drafts would have undermined women’s rights, access to healthcare, inclusive workplaces and existing discrimination laws.

Equal Love Brisbane say they’re now expecting “this year’s version to be even more heinous.”

Religious Discrimination Bill to return before end of 2021

Attorney-General Michaelia Cash confirmed in July she was meeting with religious groups to consult on the new draft.

“Our government takes the issue of discrimination against Australians on the grounds of their religious beliefs seriously,” she told The Australian.

She said she hopes to introduce the new draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill to parliament by December.

However some Coalition MPs, including Queensland MP Warren Entsch, have warned they’ll oppose the bill if it undermines LGBTIQ rights.

Recently, teachers legally sacked from Christian schools for being gay have shone light on existing discrimination exemptions for religious organisations.

Equality Australia has called for “a proposal that protects everyone in our community, regardless of belief, equally.”

The group say the bill can’t erode the rights of the LGBTIQ community or create unequal protections privileging people of faith.

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