Calls for PM to drop Religious Discrimination Bill after US ruling

Australian LGBTIQ+ advocates are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to ditch the Religious Discrimination Bill, following the US Supreme Court ruling to protect against workplace discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity.

In a landmark decision this week, the US Supreme Court voted 6-3 that discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity is a form of sex discrimination, and protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Here in Australia, the federal government is moving forward with their Religious Discrimination Bill, which would allow for ‘faith-based’ discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people in the workplace, schools, healthcare and over-ride any state or territory anti-discrimination protections.

Spokesperson for LGBTIQ+ advocacy organisation just.equal, Rodney Croome, says the US ruling should move the Morrison Government to reconsider the legislation.

“The US Supreme Court has sent a clear message to the Morrison Government that enacting stronger discrimination protections for LGBTIQ people is the right thing to do, regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum,” Croome said.

“The Supreme Court decision confirms LGBTIQ inclusion and dignity to be a civil right that trumps the divisive and dehumanising ideology behind Australia’s flawed Religious Discrimination Bill.”

“It’s time for the Morrison Government to withdraw the Religious Discrimination Bill and instead enact a broad ranging Human Rights Act to protect all rights equally.”

The Bill has been put on the back-burner during the COVID-19 pandemic, but advocates are keenly watching for the Bill’s returning to parliament later this year or in 2021.

just.equal are also celebrating this win for the US’ LGBTIQ+ community. Croome says the decision will improve the lives of many LGBTIQ+ Americans, especially at a time when the Trump administration is winding back existing discrimination protections.

“The message from the Supreme Court to the White House is that all Americans deserve equal protection under the law.”

OIP Staff

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