Advocates call on Labor leaders to condemn Religious Discrimination Bill

LGBTIQ+ advocates are calling on Anthony Albanese and state Labor leaders to condemn the government’s proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.

Advocacy group just.equal have released a statement following the news that ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has spoken out against the draft legislation.

In a submission to the federal government, Chief Minister Barr and the ACT government have warned that the bill would create “religious privilege”, and threaten the “freedom from religion’ of everyday Australians.

Speaking to the ABC, Barr shared concerns that the bill’s suggested protections for “statements of belief” would overwrite laws at state and territory levels.

“This is, I think, quite a problematic situation where it’s religious privilege, rather than religious freedom.”

just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome has called on federal leader Anthony Albanese and Barr’s state Labor counterparts to follow the Chief Minister’s lead.

“We welcome Andrew’s Barr’s truth-telling about the dangers of the Religious Discrimination Bill and call on Anthony Albanese and other Labor leaders to follow Mr Barr’s lead.”

“The Religious Discrimination Bill rolls back existing discrimination protections at a federal, state and territory level, most of which are a Labor legacy.”

“The Bill will also allow increased discrimination and denigration against people who have traditionally fallen foul of religious dogma, including LGBTIQ people, people with disability, religious and racial minorities, and Indigenous people.”

“It’s time for Labor to stand up for the minorities who will suffer increased discrimination and denigration, to stand up for values like inclusion and equality, and to stand up for its own anti-discrimination legacy.”

Croome said Labor leaders like Anthony Albanese, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and West Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, must all speak out against the bill.

“By giving religious views special legal privileges the Religious Discrimination Bill threatens to return Australia to a time when competing religious leaders denounced vulnerable social groups and each other in a race to the bottom of the cesspit of sectarianism.”

In an exclusive interview with OUTinPerth in 2019, Albanese said that as leader he “won’t accept any discrimination on the basis of – for example – people’s sexuality or gender identity. We won’t support a view that says it’s okay to discriminate against people.”

OIP Staff