Equality Tasmania call on PM to tackle LGBTIQA+ discrimination

Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ advocates say Tasmania will be the biggest loser if the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill is re-introduced and have called on the Prime Minister to show what policies he has that will reduce levels of discrimination against LGBTIQA+ people and the mental ill-health discrimination leads to.

The call comes after Scott Morrison’s commitment to bring back the Religious Discrimination Bill if his Government is re-elected.

On the campaign trail this week the PM was quizzed over his plans to have another run at introducing the long promised legislation that has been redrafted several times. Scott Morrison said he was determined to pass the bill, and would not accept any amendments to the associated Sex Discrimination Act next time round.

Tasmanian rights advocates say the Religious Discrimination Bill sought to weaken Tasmania’s gold-standard Anti-Discrimination Act in at least two critical areas, protections against derogatory language and discrimination protections for teachers in faith-based schools.

Meanwhile, a survey released on Wednesday by the Tasmanian Liberal Government shows that tackling discrimination, mental ill-health and prejudice in schools are top priorities for the state’s LGBTIQA+ community.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said all Tasmanians will lose if the Religious Discrimination Bill is revived.

“The Religious Discrimination Bill took away existing discrimination protections from people with disability, religious minorities, workers, women and LGBTIQ+ people.”

“Tasmania was the biggest loser under the Bill because our anti-discrimination laws are the best in Australia.”

“The Religious Discrimination Bill was a direct attack on the more accepting and inclusive place Tasmania has become.”

“We call on the Federal Government to follow the example of its Tasmanian counterpart and listen to what the LGBTIQA+ community actually wants.”

“The Tasmanian Government’s survey identified LGBTIQA-specific mental health services, inclusive health care and inclusive schools as some of our top priorities.”

“We call on the federal government to explain exactly how it will reduce anti-LGBTIQA+ discrimination and the mental ill-health discrimination leads to.”

The Religious Discrimination Bill was withdrawn by the Government before it was debated in the Senate because it was amended to protect LGBTIQ+ students in faith-based schools. Labor voted against the override of Tasmania’s protections against derogatory speech, but for the override of protections for teachers.

The Greens and Bass Liberal MP, Bridget Archer, voted against both overrides with Tasmanian Senator, Jacqui Lambie, promising to do the same in the Senate.

OIP Staff

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