Scott Morrison has announced his determination to go ahead with his failed religious discrimination act, without the promised concurrent amendments to the sex discrimination act to protect gay and transgender students.
According to Morrison, there is no problem.
“We’ve been having this conversation for about the last four years, and on each occasion, it has been presented that apparently students are being expelled each and every day, each and every week, or each and every year. There is no evidence [of that] because the religious schools themselves don’t wish to do that. They don’t wish to do it. This is an issue that is actually not occurring in these schools.”
They may not want to expel students, just threaten them with burning in the fires of hell unless they give up their perverted, evil ways.
And that’s what this bill is designed to do – to protect the right of the religious to abuse and discriminate.
Back in 2017, Morrison revealed the true beginnings of this bill – a payback for losing the marriage equality plebiscite.
“There are almost five million Australians who voted no in this survey who are now coming to terms with the fact that they are in the minority. That did not used to be the case in this country for most, if not all, of their lives. They have concerns that their broader views and beliefs are also now in the minority and therefore under threat. They are seeking assurances from this House and this parliament at this time—whether one agrees or disagrees and whether rightly or wrongly—that the things they hold dear are not under threat because of this change.”
Malcolm Turnbull, as kind of a consolation, commissioned Philip Ruddock to do a “religious freedom” review which found Australia did not, in fact, have a religious freedom problem and that there was evidence of only very low levels of intolerance towards Christians.
In December 2018, the Morrison government promised a Religious Discrimination Act, observing that Australians of faith felt “the walls have been closing in on them” despite the fact that no-one was asking religious people to change their lives or views or beliefs in any way.
Introducing the revised third draft of the bill late last year, Morrison told Parliament it would bring “clarity” and “confidence” that “Australians of faith would be protected from discrimination”, noting how people from “various religious traditions” were concerned about “cancel culture”.
Morrison originally told the Parliament the core idea of the bill was to give legal protection against discrimination for people of faith, including in employment and education – a problem that the review showed doesn’t exist.
What the bill actually does is provide protection for people of faith to discriminate against others.
Most controversial are the provisions that override all other federal, state and territory anti-discrimination laws so that “statements of belief” are immune from legal action.
For example, a childcare provider could tell a single mother that childbirth out of marriage is evil, a doctor could tell a patient that their disability is punishment for sin, a boss or colleague could tell a gay employee that they would go to hell for their sexuality.
The bill would also allow religious bodies – including schools, hospitals or aged care services – to seek to preserve their “religious ethos” by ensuring all employees are of a particular faith. In reality, religious institutions such as schools can already discriminate in hiring and firing under special exemptions from existing discrimination laws.
This whole exercise is not to fix any existing problem of discrimination against people of faith – it’s a sop to homophobes. Pure and simple.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!
Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.
You can donate through PayPal via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969
4,888 total views, 2 views today