Image: YouTube | BBC.

New PFLAG+ campaign calls for action to kill religious discrimination bill

A new website created by community group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG+) is encouraging Australians who are opposed to the religious discrimination bill to have their voices heard.

The Equality Not Discrimination website has information about how a wide variety of Australians would be disadvantaged by the proposed laws, including LGBTIQ people, as well as people with disabilities, women, and racial and religious minorities.

The site allows concerned people to send emails to the government’s consultation on the second draft of its religious discrimination bill, and will also ensure these emails go to all national leaders who have the power to stop the bill.

PFLAG+ national spokesperson Shelley Argent said that the bill put many people at risk.

“The religious discrimination bill punches holes in existing discrimination laws, allowing everyday Australians to be demeaned and discriminated against in the name of religion,” said Argent.

“The site will serve the dual function of informing people about the dangers of the bill and supporting them to speak out against it.

“Emails will go to the current government consultation, and also to politicians who have the power to stop this travesty, including Scott Morrison, Anthony Albanese, the Greens, and the cross-benchers in both houses.”

The website describes scenarios that would be legal if the bill passes – for example, that a doctor could refuse to provide HIV prevention medication, a pharmacist could refuse to sell contraception, and a business owner could tell an Indigenous employee that their culture is “inspired by Satan and should be eradicated”.

“This is a tough new campaign for a tough new year,” Argent said.

“I’m not interested in tinkering at the edges, or playing footsies with the religious right. This bill is fundamentally flawed and should be scrapped. This website is for those who share this view.

“PFLAG+ is 100% committed to preventing the rights of our LGBTIQ children from being overturned, as well as the rights of all Australians who will be impacted by such negative and short-sighted legislation.” 

Protests against the bill are also taking place in some of the major cities around Australia in the coming weeks.

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