Louise Pratt says PM’s voting record is worrying to LGBTI Australians

Louise Pratt, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Equality, says its understandable that many LGBTI Australians are worried about Scott Morrison’s elevation to Prime Minister.

“Many LGBTI Australians have reached out to tell me their concerns about Scott Morrison’s appointment as Prime Minister. I share their concerns.” Senator Pratt said in a statement today.

The longstanding gay rights campaigner said Prime Minister Morrison has a long history of speaking out against LGBTI people’s rights, and voting against equality.

“He defended and praised Israel Folau when he said that gay people were going to hell, saying he had “shown a lot of strength of character”.

“Scott Morrison was a vocal opponent of Marriage Equality. He supported the divisive postal survey as a way of obstructing our path to marriage equality.

“He then campaigned actively for the No case and voted “No” during the postal survey.

“To add insult to injury he supported amendments to the Bill to allow for discrimination against LGBTI people within the Marriage Act. He then went on to abstain from the vote – ignoring the will of the Australian people and indeed, the will of the people within his own electorate.” Senator Pratt said.

Despite the new Prime Minister working hard to re-brand his team as a ‘next generation’ and ‘fresh approach’ Senator Pratt said Morrison’s stance against marriage equality showed he shared the values of the most conservative members of the coalition.

“Scott Morrison was one of only a handful of MPs to abstain from the vote. He was joined by 8 other MPs including Andrew Hastie, Tony Abbott & Kevin Andrews. This is the same group of conservative MPs behind the push to replace Malcolm Turnbull in the top job.

“The LGBTI community should hold concerns about the influence these and other hard right Liberal and National MPs hold inside the Morrison Government.”

The senator said the appointment of Scottt Morrison showed that the LGBTI community could never be complacent.

“The LGBTI community can never be complacent. While we have achieved Marriage Equality, the growing conservative control in the Liberal Party means we could see the reversal of the rights we have fought so long and hard for quickly taken away.” Senator Pratt said.

On Monday Liberal backbencher Andrew Hastie called for the Prime Minister to release the Ruddock Review into Religious Freedom and said he was confident that the new leader would bring in bold policies.

Hastie said he was confident that the new Prime Minister would be taking a stance and supporting the call for religious freedom to be given greater protection.

Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives have also called for Scott Morrison to bring in new laws that would allow people who do not agree with same-sex marriage, regardless of their religious beliefs, to be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.

Party spokesman Lyle Sheldon, the former head of the Australian Christian Lobby, has also called on the Prime Minister to release the report. Shelton said people who held strong religious convictions were now living in fear.

“People of faith and no faith need to know if they will be free to hold a public view of marriage contrary to the new Marriage Act without fear of being dragged before an anti-discrimination tribunal.” Shelton said.  “Religious schools run by Christians and Muslims which hold to the time-honoured definition of marriage need certainty that teaching children this definition and requiring staff to uphold this definition will not result in legal sanctions.”

Shelton said the Australian Conservatives were hopeful that Prime Minister Morrison would take action given his record of voting in favour of the unsuccessful amendments to the marriage act.

OIP Staff


 

 

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