LGBTI activists and supporters marched through the streets of Melbourne on February 9 to oppose Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination bill. If passed, the bill would increase the ability of religious institutions and individuals to discriminate.
Under the legislation, religious-run services, including schools, hospitals and aged-care facilities, would be able to hire and fire on the basis of sexuality and gender identity. Individuals could also be blocked from accessing reproductive health or gender-affirming treatment on religious grounds.
Roz Ward, a spokesperson for Rainbow Rebellion, which organised the rally, said the bill would legalise "discriminatory acts and statements that could target not just LGBTI people, but anyone from a minority community.
"It is appalling that the Morrison government seems to care more about allowing religious schools to expel LGBTI students and sack LGBTI teachers than paying firefighters, evacuating bushfire-hit communities or transitioning away from fossil fuels.”
Speakers at the rally included comedian Tom Ballard, Wurundjeri elder Annette Xiberras, and Natalie Acreman from the National Union of Students and Uni Students for Climate Justice.