More than 200 people rallied against the federal government’s religious discrimination bill on December 5.
The protest, organised by Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR), was organised after the Victorian Parliament passed the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill 22 votes to 12.
It makes it illegal for religious organisations and schools to discriminate against an employee because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. Victoria joined Tasmania, Queensland and the ACT to take a stand against religious schools firing LGBTI teachers.
The federal government’s misnamed Religious Discrimination Bill, if passed, would override all the states laws if it becomes law.
Speakers included 1978er Karl Zlotkowski, Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Uniting Church minister Jo Inkpin, Lydia Shelly from the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, non-binary activist and drag performer Etcetera Etcetera and CARR spokesperson April Holcombe.
“The religious Right wants a green light to sack LGBTI teachers and spout heinous bigotry, shielded from all consequences. We’re going to make sure they don’t get it, and can’t wind back the clock on hard-won rights for LGBTI people and women,” Holcombe said.
If passed, the bill would wind back gains won by activists who have fought for equality and allow bigots the right to discriminate against women, LGBTI people and ethnic minorities.