“Anti-discrimination laws have made Australia an immensely more inclusive and equitable society. We will strongly oppose any attempt to weaken those laws under the cover of ‘religious freedom’.” – Rodney Croome, just.equal
Advocates called on Labor, the Greens and Senate cross-bench to oppose any new law that weakens existing protections from discrimination.
The call comes after the Government announced its intention to amend existing marriage, charities and discrimination laws to allow “religious freedom”.
Legislation will undermine current anti-discrimination laws
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said the organisation feared the Government’s proposed amendments.
They “will allow discrimination currently prohibited against LGBTI people and anyone else who falls foul of traditional religious precepts.”
“We call on Labor, the Greens and the Senate cross-bench to block any new provision that weakens existing discrimination protections.”
“In particular, we want a commitment from Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, that Labor will not support any new law that diminishes existing discrimination protections.”
“Anti-discrimination laws have made Australia an immensely more inclusive and equitable society, and we will strongly oppose any attempt to weaken those laws under the cover of ‘religious freedom’.
“Now is the time for Australia to have a national discussion about equal rights and freedoms for everyone, not special rights and freedoms for some.”
The Government also proposed the appointment of a religious freedom commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Rodney Croome said many Australians would undoubtedly question the government’s action.
“Why appoint a commissioner to protect rights that its own review said are not threatened? However that action will potentially erode the rights of vulnerable minorities like LGBTI people.
“This is out of whack with the belief of everyday Australians in equal rights for all.”
However, the just.equal spokesperson said he however supports the Government’s additional plan to prohibit discrimination on the ground of religion.
“Most Australians would agree that there should be no discrimination against people because of their religious beliefs.
“The problem arises when legislation allows discrimination and hate speech in the name of religion.”
Rodney asked what happened to the Government’s concern for discrimination previously in 2017. At that time a Christian school sacked respected teacher Craig Campbell because of his sexuality.
He said the national promise of a fair go for all would remain unfulfilled until Australian law prohibits discrimination against everyone equally.
For more information check out just.equal
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