Saturday October 26, 2019
Victorian State Library
328 Swanston St
Melbourne , VIC 3000
Language/ Cultural Consultant
Rally and march through the city. Bring flags, placards, banners.
If the Morrison government’s ‘Religious Discrimination’ Bill passes through parliament bigots will be handed all new rights to discriminate against LGBTIQ+ people. But that would not be all – people of colour, women, people with disabilities and anyone who has ever won protection from discrimination is set to be dragged down by this bigot’s bill of rights. We are calling on all members of the community to protest.
The bill is designed to protect rich homophobes like Israel Folau under the cloak of anti-discrimination while those who actually face discrimination, same-sex attracted, queer, trans and intersex people, are relegated to a second tier. Religious employers will remain free to fire LGBTIQ+ workers and anyone who speaks out against discrimination, as already happens to teachers at a whole range of Christian schools, while people like Folau will be offered protection to spout their views. On top of this, a Religious Freedom Commissioner will be appointed to seek out controversy and spruik the right to discriminate.
The draft legislation seeks to override progressive state laws and would set a new low bar of what constitutes discrimination. Having failed to get section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act repealed two years ago, the government is trying again but on a much wider basis. The new legislation includes provisions for healthcare providers, doctors, nurses, even pharmacists to deny services based on religious opposition. This could see doctors refuse to provide vulnerable women with referrals to abortion providers and pharmacists refuse to dispense HIV medication.
These attacks have been coupled with a major right wing media scare campaign to demonise trans and gender non-binary people. We will see more of this if the bigots get this bill passed.
Disgracefully, Federal ALP MPs have refused to rule out support for the bill and indicated an intention to work with the government. In 2004, the Howard Government ambushed us and banned equal marriage, with the support of the ALP, holding us back for more than a decade. We need to fight back against this happening again by showing firm opposition.
Urgent protest and strong opposition to the government is needed right now – join us!