Rights group just.equal gives cautious support for Religious Discrimination Act

LGBTI rights advocates at just.equal have offered qualified support for a federal Religious Discrimination Act, but have vowed to fight any attempt to water down existing state and territory discrimination protections under cover of “national consistency”.

Today, the Federal Government released the Ruddock review of religious freedom and announced its response which includes a national Religious Discrimination Act and “national consistency” on discrimination and vilification laws.

Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said the organisation did not reject the idea of a Religious Discrimination Act, but argued it must not include provisions which allow discrimination against LGBTI people.

“We give in-principle support for a Religious Discrimination Act as long as it doesn’t include provisions which allow discrimination against LGBTI Australians.”

“We reject ‘national consistency’ among existing state and territory laws because that is code for watering down laws in states like Tasmania that offer strong protections.” Croome said in a statement.

The long standing LGBTI rights activist went on to say that the right to worship, did not include the right to impose your beliefs onto other people.

“Religious freedom should not be used as cover to allow discrimination against LGBTI Australians.”

“Simply holding a religious belief should not set someone above the law, exempt them from anti-discrimination legislation or give them permission to engage in hate speech.”

“Most Australians clearly understood that freedom of religion means freedom to believe and to worship, but not the freedom to impose your religious views on others.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison finally released the long awaited report from former Attorney General Philip Ruddock this morning, seven months after it was delivered to the government. The PM said he hoped to have the legislation brought to the parliament at the beginning of the year before a federal election.

OIP Staff

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