Media Release
September 21st 2021
Just.Equal Australia has written to President Joe Biden asking him to talk to Scott Morrison about the benefits of LGBTIQ+ inclusion and equality.
The letter comes as Mr Morrison is due to meet the US President at the White House.
Just.Equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
“The Biden administration is taking great steps forward on LGBTIQ+ inclusion and equality while the Morrison Government is heading in the opposite direction by proposing to weaken existing protections.”
“We have written to President Biden asking him to explain to Mr Morrison the benefits of LGBTIQ+ inclusion and equality.”
Biden was famously an early supporter of marriage equality while Mr Morrison did not support the reform.
But Mr Croome said differences between the US and Australia have deepened since then.
“While Joe Biden has issued executive orders to widen LGBTIQ+ discrimination protections, Scott Morrison has proposal to roll back existing protections in the name of ‘religious freedom’.”
“While Joe Biden has made it clear discrimination against trans and gender diverse people is unacceptable, Scott Morrison has fuelled the flames of prejudice and stigma towards transgender people.”
“If the US and Australia are to work more closely together, it is vital that Australian LGBTIQ+ human rights standards rise to the same standard as America’s.”
“It is also vital that there be a frank and honest exchange when one nation, in this case Australia, falls short.”
A copy of the letter to President Biden is included below.
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.
President Joe Biden
C/o The White House
Washington DC
Re: encouraging the Australian Prime Minister to support LGBTIQ+ equality and inclusion
Dear Mr Biden,
Your administration has taken great steps forward for the LGBTIQ+ community. This includes a number of executive orders implementing and enforcing anti-discrimination protections for LGBTIQ+ people. It has also included championing key legislation like the Equality Act.
Unfortunately, the Australian Government is heading in the opposite direction. It has drafted a Religious Discrimination and Freedom Bill that will weaken existing discrimination and bullying protections for LGBTIQ+ people in the name of “protecting religious freedom”*. Mr Morrison has made statements that have fuelled the backlash to transgender inclusion and equality**. He has failed to fulfil his pre-election commitment to protect LGBTIQ+ school students from discrimination***.
When you meet Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, in Washington DC, we respectfully request you to do the following:
  • Outline your administration’s positive steps in favour of LGBTIQ+ equality and against discrimination.
  • Explain why these actions benefit LGBTIQ+ people, their families, their communities and the United States.
  • Encourage Mr Morrison to adopt a stance that boosts discrimination protections, social inclusion and equality rather than weakening them.
We understand that the current round of talks will focus on strategic cooperation between Australia and the United States. But a frank human rights dialogue must always be a part of developing cooperative relationship between any two countries, especially countries as similar as ours.
We also understand that it may not be conventional for a US president to comment on Australians domestic affairs. However, the movements against LGBTIQ+ discrimination protections in the name of “religious freedom”, and the movement against transgender equality and inclusion, both emerged in the United States before jumping the Pacific to Australia. It is therefore appropriate for the US Government to take the lead in repudiating these movements.
We thank for you for time and consideration.
Best wishes,
Rodney Croome
For Just.Equal Australia
+61(0)409 010 668
*The Religious Discrimination and Freedom Bill was intended to protect people of faith from discrimination, which we support. But it goes further, undermining discrimination protections for a range of groups including LGBTIQ+ people, people with disability, and racial and religious minorities. For more, see our explainer here…
**For negative comments by Mr Morrison on transgender inclusion and equality…
***For more on the Government’s the failure to protect LGBTIQ+ school students…