Federal politicians sent brochure ahead of religious freedom legislation

National lobby group, Just.Equal Australia, has upped its campaign against the federal Coalition’s proposed ‘Religious Freedom Bill’.

The advocacy group has posted a 12 page glossy brochure to every federal MP and senator. It outlines the four main elements of the Bill in its current form that would cause harm to LGBTIQ+ people and others.

Spokesperson for Just.Equal Australia, Brian Greig, said the Bill was the biggest attack on anti-discrimination laws in the nation’s history.

“I really don’t think most MPs understand the threat posed by the Religious Freedom Bill to Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, so our brochure clarifies this threat with facts, evidence and simplicity that cuts through all the misinformation.”

“The Bill is not about freedom for faith, but privilege for prejudice. It overrides all State and Territory anti-discrimination laws, the Commonwealth’s Fair Work Act, and gives special privilege to derogatory speech in the workplace if done in the name of religion.”

Brian Greig said the Bill, if passed, could open the door to faith-based schools discriminating against LGBTIQ+ students in those states where students are currently protected.

“Some of the laws being overridden have been in place for decades and have helped foster a more inclusive Australia”, Greig said.

“The Bill also permits doctors, chemists, nurses and psychologists to refuse services to women, people with disability and LGBTIQ+ people.”

“It also seeks to remove hate-speech protections from these same groups, mostly to the disadvantage of people with a disability.”

“Prime Minister Morrison promised that this Bill would be a shield and not a sword, but has broken that promise. This Bill is a sword and not a shield.”

“Australia was promised a Bill that would prevent discrimination on the basis of faith, but instead we have been given one that allows discrimination in the name of faith,” Greig said.

Attorney General Michaelia Cash is expected to present a redrafted Bill to parliament within the final sitting weeks of the parliamentary calendar.

The new brochure was made possible with the support of Western Australian businessman Patrick Coward who is the co-owner of the Margaret River Chocolate Factory.

OIP Staff

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