By Rita Bratovich
Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese has invited members and stakeholders within the LGBTQI community to a round-table discussion on the proposed Religious Freedom Bill.
The meeting will take place in Melbourne on January 30.
Activist and spokesperson for Just.equal, Rodney Croome welcomes this decision by Albanese.
“Our message to him will be that Labor must oppose the Bill outright and as soon as possible,” Croome said in a statement.
“This is so Labor can begin the task of educating the public about why the Bill is a threat to social minorities, a threat to fundamental Australian values like equality before the law, and a threat to Labor’s legacy of strong state and federal anti-discrimination laws.”
Croome feels that if the meeting is to be affective, it needs to involve participants from all segments of the community, and he has made this specific set of requests to the Labor Leader:
For the consultation to include a wider range of LGBTIQ community representatives including transgender and gender diverse people, PFLAG, rainbow families, rural and regional communities, researchers, discrimination experts, support service workers, community activists, and LGBTIQ people of faith and people with disability.
For there to be dedicated consultations with other affected groups including people with disability, women’s health organisations, family planning organisations, and racial and religious minorities.
For there to be consultations across the nation, including in Tasmania where the state Anti-Discrimination Act is set to be overridden.
PFLAG recently placed a half page ad in The Sydney Morning Herald calling for the public to oppose the Religious Freedom Bill. Headlined, “What Happened To Australia’s ‘Fair Go’?”,
it lists grounds for objecting to the bill and invites people to visit their new website and co-sign a submission (or write their own letter.)