PFLAG target Anthony Albanese over Religious Discrimination Bill

National President of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG+), Shelley Argent, has taken aim at Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese with a leaflet drop across his Grayndler electorate.

Argent said Albanese has been “too quiet” on the issue of the government’s Religious Discrimination Bill.

“As Federal Opposition Leader, LGBTI people, their friends and families are very disappointed in his silence and lack of commitment on this issue. We have a much higher expectation of him in this debate and call on him to publicly back freedom from discrimination,”

Argent said the leaflet calls on Mr Albanese to say “No” to discrimination in the name of religion and to support “equal rights for all, not special rights for some”.

“The Bill being put forward by Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been designed by the No Campaign who lobbied against marriage equality in 2017. Now they want to punch holes in all State and Federal anti-discrimination laws, including the Fair Work Act, and weaken hate-speech laws to undermine LGBTI equality.”

“80% of the people in Grayndler voted in favour of marriage equality in the postal survey. Therefore, I assume they would expect Mr Albanese as their local member and Labor Leader not just to support equality, but to defend the LGBTI community from this renewed attack by religious conservatives trying to turn back the clock.”

Argent said the Religious Discrimination Bill put forward by the government would give the Federal Attorney General special powers (Section 41) to override state legislation that promotes inclusion for LGBTIQ people, people with disabilities, racial minorities, women and anyone who falls foul of traditional religious doctrines– including overriding state laws to allow the promotion of “conversion therapy”, while sections 15 and 16 of the Bill will make it harder to deregister a “counselor” who engages in this practice.

Argent said she hoped the leaflet would help voters understand just how one sided and awful the Bill is and how disingenuous the government was being about representing it.

“Australia needs Mr Albanese to stand up and speak out. His ongoing silence over this legislation is not acceptable and lacks leadership.” PFLAG will also be placing advertisements in NSW newspapers against the legislation.