PFLAG call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to “govern for all people”

Shelley Argent, the national spokesperson for Parent and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to stay true to his commitment to “govern for all people” as concern about the push for new religious freedom laws grow.

Argent warns that government’s drawn out process of addressing calls for new religious freedom laws continues to worry members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

“After Marriage Equality was achieved, the right wing of the Government decided Christian rights were at risk. A Religious Review was held due to concerns about the rights of Christians.

“Mr Ruddock, a conservative and Att. General who was the architect of rewording the “marriage act” to read as “man and woman” to exclude same sex couples, was Chairperson.

“Eventually, after much delay the Review showed there was very little concern for Christians.” Argent said.

Among growing calls from within their own ranks for a specific religious freedom bill, and the appointment of a specific commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission Argent says the government must recognise the growing concern of LGBTIQ+ people and their families.

Argent said many people within LGBTIQ+ communities are worried that in the future businesses and services owned by Christians may be given permission to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.

“Additionally, there is the concern of the promotion of hate speech. Christians may not believe their words are harmful, or may not care but the impact of what is said or written can be devastating for the LGBTIQ person and their loved ones. Again any freedom, including freedom of speech should never be used as a tool for abuse.” Argent said.

“The ratio of Christians suffering poor mental health or suicide from hate speech is minimal. However, the negative impact of hate speech, homophobia and transphobia against LGBTIQ people is extremely high.”

Argent said the Prime Minister needs to ensure that LGBTI people do not face additional discrimination through the introduction of new laws.

“Mr Morrison and his team to do as he promised which was to govern for all of the people which surely must include the LGBTIQ people. They pay taxes, contribute to society and vote.”

OIP Staff

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