Mark Latham’s own Religious Discrimination Bill defeated in NSW

one nation nsw leader mark latham nsw parliament education bill religious discrimination
Image: NSW Parliament

One Nation’s NSW leader Mark Latham has seen his own Religious Discrimination Bill overwhelmingly rejected in the New South Wales parliament.

On Wednesday night (February 23) the state’s upper house, the NSW Legislative Council, defeated the Bill 29-4. Coalition, Labor, Greens and crossbench MPs all voted against it.

Mark Latham slammed all of the political parties after the Bill’s defeat on Wednesday night.

“Liberal, Labor, Nationals and Greens combined to defeat my Bill providing protection for people of religious faith against discrimination,” Latham tweeted.

But Equality Australia said Latham’s proposed legislation had “fundamental problems” including provisions “adversely affecting, among others, LGBTQ+ people, women, divorced and unmarried people, and even people of faith” themselves.

Latham’s bill would have permitted religious organisations to discriminate on the grounds of religion in education, employment and services.

“It elevates religious expression above other human rights, allowing people to use religion to hurt others, including other people of faith,” the group warned.

“[The bill] prioritises freedom of religion above all other rights and freedoms when applying NSW’s anti-discrimination laws.”

Mark Latham religion bill ‘decisively rejected’

Equality Australia tweeted, “One Nation: 0, our community: 1.

“One Nation NSW’s Religious Discrimination Bill was decisively rejected. The Government, Labor, the Greens and the Animal Justice Party joined together to vote the bill down.

“It’s encouraging news. We’re grateful to the work of 110 faith-based organisations, unions, and community groups that stood together to call for laws that protect all of us, equally.”

But Equality Australia added the NSW government had previously said it would produce its own bill on the issue.

“If the government decides to legislate, it must consult with affected communities and deliver laws that protect all of us, equally,” the group said.

“[This includes] removing carve-outs that currently allow private schools and religious organisations to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.”

Mark Latham’s anti-trans education bill still before the parliament

During his time as a New South Wales MP, Mark Latham has had an appalling record on LGBTIQ rights.

In 2020, Latham introduced an education amendment bill that has been slammed as Australia’s “most anti-LGBTIQ piece of legislation this century”.

Mark Latham’s proposal has sparked multiple protest rallies across Sydney.

It would ban any “promotion” of gender diversity in schools and ban all recognition and support for trans students.

The draft bill is still before the parliament, and New South Wales MPs must reject it, Equality Australia said.

This week, Equality Australia renewed its call for the state government to “act for equality” and reject it.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    25 February 2022

    This was just a blatant attempt to shine a spotlight on himself. It was never going to succeed and now let’s hope he fades into anonymity with his tail between his legs. The man is a dinosaur.

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