Equality supporters urged to join campaign against Religious Discrimination Bill

Just.Equal Australia and PFLAG Australia have called on supporters of LGBTIQ+ equality to join the campaign against the Religious Discrimination Bill by sending submissions to the two current inquiries into the Bill.

The two groups have partnered to establish the Equality not Discrimination campaign website that allows opponents of the Religious Discrimination bill to send an email to both inquiries with the click of a button.

Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said it is important politician know there is wide spread opposition to the bill.

“The two current parliamentary inquiries need to know there is widespread opposition to the Religious Discrimination Bill.”

“We urge everyone who supports the values of equality and inclusion to raise their voice against the Bill’s violation of those values.”

National PFLAG spokesperson, Shelley Argent (pictured), said people need to protect long fought for equal rights.

“Please send an email to these two inquiries right now because they close very soon and we need Canberra to hear us.”

“We fought hard for the equal rights of our LGBTIQ+ children and we are not going to let anyone take that away under cover of ‘religious freedom’.”

The two organisations say the Religious Discrimination Bill will allow derogatory and demeaning statements in the name of religion against LGBTIQ+ people and other who experience religious stigma including people with disability, women, and members of minority faiths. They argue it will also override existing protections for LGBTIQ+ people, unmarried partners and others in faith-based organisations.

Argent said those people who are concerned about the Bill’s impact on other groups, including people with disability, women and members of minority faiths, are also welcome to send their views to the inquiries through the new website.

The new webform can be found online. The Equality not Discrimination website also includes information about the Religious Discrimination Bill here.

“It’s a numbers game” Australian Christian Lobby urges followers to make submissions

Religious groups are also urging followers to make submissions to the parliamentary inquires with Wendy Francis from the Australian Christian Lobby describing the process as a “numbers game” to see who has the most supporters.

“The survey is going to be really important because that one is a numbers game.” Francis told viewers of the ACL’s weekly video update.

Francis said she still held out hope that parliament would pass the legislation before a federal election is called.

“There is still an opportunity to get this bill through before the next election, although its a very slim window.”

Christian legal think tank Freedom For Faith, which is strongly aligned with the Australian Christian Lobby, has also been urging people to make submissions in favour of bringing in the legislation.

The organisation has accused opponents of the bill of pushing a misinformation campaign about the legislation, and has shared a pamphlet with it’s mailing list that they acknowledge they helped put together.

The digital flyer from charity Institute for a Civil Society rebuffs arguments put forward by Rodney Croome from Just.Equal, Anna Brown form Equality Australia, and media reports from the ABC and Junkee.

Submissions to the inquiry conducted by the Joint Human Rights Committee close on 21st December 2021. Submissions to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee inquiry close on 7th Janurary 2022 .

Graeme Watson

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