‘Kill the Bill’: National rallies against Religious Discrimination Bill

religious discrimination brisbane protest rally religious freedom
Photo: Jordan Hirst

Human rights activists will gather at a rally in Brisbane to protest the Morrison goverment’s controversial religious discrimination bill.

LGBTIQ advocates last year blasted the draft bill for “immunising bigotry” and “dividing communities”. Now a string of national rallies are planned to condemn the legislation ahead of its upcoming introduction to federal parliament.

The Brisbane “Kill the Bill” protest will be held on Saturday, January 18 from 12pm. The event is at Speakers Corner, in the forecourt outside state parliament.

Co-organiser Johnny Valkyrie said the bill would permit discrimination such as refusing employment or medical care to LGBTIQ Australians.

The laws will negatively affect people in workplaces, health services, schools, places of worship and in public life, Valkyrie said.

“It will allow people who discriminate against and vilify LGBTQIA+ people to get away with it on ‘grounds of religious belief’ so long as it is not ‘violent’.”

“The law should treat everyone equally, and this bill allows discrimination.”

Speakers at the Brisbane rally will include those impacted by the laws, including LGBTIQ people, women, people of faith, and people with disability.

More religious discrimination rallies around the country

In Adelaide, community group Connection will hold a rally from 1 pm on January 25 outside Adelaide Parliament House.

In Sydney, community groups including Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR) will also rally at Sydney Town Hall from 1 pm on Saturday, February 8.

The group condemn the bill as “a broad attack on anyone who has won protection from discrimination in recent decades.”

“If passed, the law would give bigots the license to discriminate, intimidate and degrade using ‘statement of belief’ exemptions [and] allow health providers to cut off access to treatments, especially those required by LGBTIQ people and women,” organisers said.

“It’s up to us to send a clear message that overwhelming majority of people oppose granting religious organisations, business owners, or whoever else the right to discriminate.”

Melbourne protesters will also rally at the State Library of Victoria from 1 pm on February 8.

In Perth, Rainbow Rebellion WA are organising a protest for February 8 at Forrest Chase in the city’s CBD.

Read more: New PFLAG+ campaign to scrap ‘religious bias’ bill

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