National lobby group Just.Equal and QNews recently partnered in an effort to stop the Federal Coalition’s planned Religious Freedom Bill.
Just.Equal recently published a 12-page glossy brochure targeted at every federal MP. It outlines the four main elements of the Bill that would cause harm to LGBTI people and others.
QNews was keen to be a part of the campaign and provided much of the graphic layout as a donation. QNews also arranged the packaging and postage of 240 brochures to ensure it reached every MP around the country quickly.
A spokesperson for JEA, Brian Greig, welcomed the support from QNews, saying it gave a boost to the professionalism and community support behind the campaign.
“This Bill is the biggest attack on anti-discrimination laws in the nation’s history.
“I really don’t think most MPs understand this and our brochure clarifies this with facts, evidence and simplicity that cuts through all the misinformation.
Privilege for prejudice
“The Bill is not about freedom for faith, but a privilege for prejudice. It overrides all State and Territory anti-discrimination laws including the Commonwealth Fair Work Act. It also gives special privilege to derogatory speech in the workplace done in the name of religion.
“Some of the laws being overridden have been in place for decades and have helped foster a more inclusive Australia.
“The Bill also permits doctors, chemists, nurses and psychologists to refuse services to women, people with disability and LGBTI people.
“It also seeks to remove hate-speech protections from these same groups, mostly to the disadvantage of people with a disability.
“Prime Minister Morrison promised that this Bill would be a shield and not a sword, but has broken that promise. This Bill is a sword and not a shield.
“Australia was promised a Bill that would prevent discrimination on the basis of faith. Instead, we have been given one that allows discrimination in the name of faith.”
Commentators expect Attorney General Michaela Cash to present a redrafted bill to the parliament in the near future.
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