LGBTQI people of faith have been urged to make their views known to the Australian Government about proposed religious discrimination and “religious freedom” legislation in the wake of the Israel Folau saga.
The Government has announced a consultation process involving MPs and religious groups, but it had not made clear whether LGBTQI groups will be allowed to participate.
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome has now clarified this.
“We have an assurance from the office of Attorney-General, Christian Porter, that LGBTI groups can be part of the consultation,” Croome said earlier today.
“We urge LGBTI groups, including faith groups, to contact Mr Porter’s office and ask to participate in the consultation.”
“It is vital the Government hears diverse LGBTI community voices, especially those concerned about the potential erosion of LGBTI legal rights in the name of religious freedom.”
On Monday the Government released a summary of its legislative priorities that included religious freedom amendments to existing federal laws regarding marriage, charities and discrimination, as well as the appointment of a religious freedom commissioner.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday, “Attorney-General Christian Porter is preparing to hold workshops with backbenchers in Canberra this week before consulting churches and others in the weeks ahead to finalise the first version of the bill.”
Regardless of the outcome of the consultation, the government plans to make its bill law before the end of the month.
Earlier this week the Federal Opposition signalled their willingness to work with the government on the issue.
“We are willing to have discussions with the government and work with the government on a religious discrimination and freedom act,” Labor senator Kristina Keneally told ABC radio on Wednesday.
“We are waiting to have those conversations. We do stand ready, though, to work with the government on this.”
The Religious Discrimination Act could be brought before parliament as early as 22 July.