How to lobby from home against the Religious Discrimination Bill

rodney croome religious discrimination bill
Photo: Equality Tasmania

LGBTIQ advocates Shelley Argent and Rodney Croome have called for Australians to keep up the pressure against the government’s controversial Religious Discrimination Bill in a new video.

PFLAG spokesperson Shelley Argent said while COVID-19 had pushed the proposed legislation off the front pages, “it is very likely to return and we need to be ready.”

“We call this video ‘loungeroom lobbying’ because we want to bring our experience lobbying against this Bill into people’s lives and homes,” Argent said.

“The Religious Discrimination Bill will take away the rights of many groups in society. Each of us can play a role in defeating this push to roll back LGBTIQ+ equality.”

In the video, the two advocates explain problems with the bill, how to make a case against it, who to contact, and how to respond to supporters of the Bill.

Longtime advocate Rodney Croome encouraged LGBTIQ people and their families to speak out against the “woeful” legislation.

“Our aim is to encourage and skill members of the LGBTIQ+ community and their families to speak out,” he said.

“[The video] addresses many of the questions LGBTIQ+ people ask us about how they can make a difference.

“It compliments the information and action site we have set up called Equality not Discrimination. I urge everyone who opposes this Bill to have a look at it.”

Religious Discrimination Bill delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter unveiled a new draft of the legislation in December.

At the time they described the laws as “a shield from discrimination, not a sword” for Australians of faith.

However LGBTIQ advocates disagreed and slammed the revised draft as even worse than the original.

LGBTIQ groups’ concerns range from anti-discrimination laws to healthcare and impacts on Indigenous Australians.

In February, former High Court judge Michael Kirby slammed the draft Bill for allowing Australians to use “religious belief as a weapon against non-believers”.

In May, Morrison said the Bill was on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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