Tuesday December 10th 2019
RELIGIOUS BIAS BILL WORSE THAN BEFORE
CALL ON ALBANESE TO COMMIT TO VOTE IT DOWN
National LGBTIQ equality organisation, just.equal, has slammed the changes to the Government's proposed religious discrimination bill saying it is now even worse.
The changes will allow a broader range of organisations to discriminate against LGBTI people and others who fall foul of religious doctrine.
This includes discrimination in employment by faith-linked hospitals, charities, age-care facilities, and homeless shelters, and discriminate in the provision of services by conference centres and camps.
Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"The Government heard the LGBTIQ community say we want the bill to allow less discriminattion, and it gave us precisely the opposite."
"The release of this bill on world human rights day is a travesty because the bill undermines the equal rights of millions of Australians."
"When Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, says this bill is a shield protecting against discrimination rather than a sword allowing it, he is not telling the truth."
"It's time for Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, to break his silence and commit Labor to voting this atrocious bill down."
As well as expanding the range of organisations that can discriminate against LGBTIQ people, the bill continues to allow
- "statements of belief" even if they attack others and undermine workplace inclusion
- patients to be turned away if there is a religious objection to the procedures they seek
- an override of Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act
Mr Croome said the broader list of organisations allowed to discriminate will disadvantage both LGBTIQ people and religious organisations.
"The new bill will mean LGBTIQ people have fewer job opportunities and existing LGBTIQ staff will be forced into the closet."
"Faith-linked hospitals and welfare agencies will also suffer because their staff will be selected on the basis of piety rather than professionalism."
Mr Croome also noted that LGBTIQ people will face discrimination in health care regardless of the narrowing of the proposed conscientious objection.
"Transgender people seeking medical treatment related to their identity will be just as vulnerable to discrimination under the Government's revised provisions."
Mr Croome also expressed concern about the bill's expanded definition of what constitutes "religious doctrine" when it comes to determing what discrimination is permtited.
According to section 11 of the bill, the definition of "religious doctrine" is whatever a member of that religion believes it is.
This is a response to the concerns of church leaders that courts would decide what is religious doctrine.
"This new definition of religious doctrine is so broad it opens the floodgate to any kind of prejudice and bigotry camouflaged as religious belief", Mr Croome said.
For a copy of this statement on the web, here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668