Media Release
Monday April 16th 2018
LGBTI equality advocate and just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, has called for an alliance of groups potentially disadvantaged by a roll back of anti-discrimination laws in the name of “religious freedom”.
Speaking at the national humanist convention in Adelaide yesterday, Mr Croome, said “religious freedom” was a misnomer and that what conservative religious advocates really seek is be allowed to refuse services to whomever they don’t like.
“The new ‘religious freedom’ movement that has arrived in Australia from the US should really be called a movement for religious privilege because it seeks to exempt religious people from the discrimination laws that govern the rest of us and have made Australia a more inclusive nation.”
“This new movement goes beyond allowing discrimination by faith-based organisations, as bad as that is, to allowing refusal-of-service by businesses owners, people charged with a government duty and anyone who can claim they are acting on their ‘religious conscience’.”
“Those who could find themselves on the wrong end of discrimination in the name of religion must join together to maintain and improve our anti-discrimination protections.”
“This includes humanists, secularists, LGBTI people, women, and racial and religious minorities.”
Mr Croome was critical of both major parties and the Australian Human Rights Commission for not calling out how discrimination has disguised itself as “religious freedom”.
“They talk about striking a balance between LGBTI equality and ‘religious freedom’ but in Australian law the balance already tips well in the direction of allowing religious discrimination.”
“There is no bargain to be struck with prejudice.”
At the Convention, former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, was named Australian Humanist of the Year.
Professor Triggs spoke to the conference about the importance of a national Charter of Rights to ensure no right, including the right to religious freedom, overshadows other rights.
For a copy of Mr Croome’s address:
A photo of Professor Triggs speaking after receiving her award is attached.
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information: 0409 010 668