Dan Andrews Says Government Will Legally Defend Victoria’s Pro-LGBT Laws

Dan Andrews Says Government Will Legally Defend Victoria’s Pro-LGBT Laws
Image: Premier Dan Andrews and wife Catherine walk the annual Midsumma Pride march on February 6, 2022 (left). Rainbow Labor at 2022 Midsumma Pride march (right).

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews on Tuesday said that his government would defend the state’s laws that protect gay and trans students from discrimination in faith-based schools. 

Couple of days after he marched in the annual Midsumma Pride march, Andrews indicated that his government would challenge the Scott Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill if it overrides the state’s anti-discrimination laws. 

“I think everybody should be treated fairly properly. And that’s exactly the arrangements that we have in place,” said Andrews.

The Andrews-led Labor government has passed a number of LGBTQI law reforms in Parliament. In December 2021, Victoria’s Parliament passed long overdue reforms to prohibit religious schools from refusing to hire or sack teachers and staff for being LGBTQI.

In early 2021, the state banned so-called gay conversion therapy practices. The government has also amended laws to allow trans and gender diverse Victorians to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates without having to undergo invasive and costly sex affirmation surgeries.

Victorians Want Equality

The Premier pointed out that the Labor had won the elections on its promise to deliver protections and law reforms for the LGBTQI community. “We’re delivering them, because that’s what Victorians voted for.” 

Andrews referred to state Attorney General Jaclyn Symes’ statement about launching a legal challenge to the Religious Discrimination Bill if it overrides state anti-discrimination laws. 

“We would use any and all legal avenues to defend those who want to be treated fairly and equally and might not be under any arrangements,” said Andrews. “These (Victoria’s LGBTQI law reforms) are exactly the laws that Victorians voted for,” the Premier said at his daily media press briefing. 

‘Not A Matter Of Choice’

“Everyone should be treated equally,” Andrews reiterated, when asked about the federal government’s new proposal to protect gay students, but allow faith-based schools to retain the right to expel trans students

The Scott Morrison-led Federal government is reportedly planning to amend the draft of its Bill, with a view to get over the opposition of some moderate Liberals. The new proposal will prohibit faith-based schools from expelling gay students but will allow them expel trans students.

“People’s identity is not a matter of choice. Who you are is who you are, who you love is a matter for you. And you should be treated fairly and equitably and you should not be discriminated against based on who you are. That’s just my view and that also happens to be the view of the Victorian community…,” the Premier said.

In 2020, Andrews Premier had delivered a historic apology in the Parliament apologising to those convicted under laws that criminalised homosexual acts. The state will commemorate the the 40th anniversary of decriminalisation of homosexuality with Melbourne Pride, a one-day street party on February 13, 2022.

On Sunday, the government unveiled Victoria’s first long-term plan for LGBTIQ+ equality, that has identified four areas of reforms our areas of reform, including “protecting equal rights and freedoms, making services more equitable, inclusive, and accessible, building evidence to drive decision making and ensuring LGBTIQ+ communities are safe and strong”.

The Andrews Labor Government also committed to an immediate $6.5 million investment to make organisations safer and more inclusive for LGBTQI Victorians.

Scrap Religious Discrimination Bill

Equality Australia has called on the Federal Parliament to scrap the Bill. “Discrimination against any child is always wrong. This government’s reported proposal fails to protect gay students from discrimination. By narrowly focussing on expulsion, gay kids can still be punished or harmed at school by being suspended, given detention or told they need to change or suppress their sexuality,”Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, said in a statement.  

Olympic gold medalist and swimmer Ian Thorpe is fronting a new Equality Australia campaign against the Religious Discrimination Bill.

“I was brought up in a Christian home and believe that people of faith should be able to live according to their beliefs and be protected from discrimination, but this Bill goes further, allowing discrimination against not just LGBTIQ+ people, but women, people with disability and other people of faith. It amounts to state-sponsored discrimination,” Thorpe said in a statement.

“The Parliament must come together to oppose this Bill, and the government must go back to the drawing board to deliver laws that protect all of us, equally,” added Thorpe.  


If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.








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One response to “Dan Andrews Says Government Will Legally Defend Victoria’s Pro-LGBT Laws”

  1. Like so many others I was also brought up in a moderately religious family. The difference was that my parents accepted people for what they were. Of course, given their generation, they thought being homosexual was abnormal, My Mum’s main concern when I came out to her was that I might be lonely in my old age! Interestingly, my Dad thought it was nice and that it did not change how they felt about me. I was one of the lucky ones for I know many thousands, if not millions, do not come in for such acceptance. The Morrison Religious Discrimination Bill was pure Evil and deserved to be put down.
    Religious businesses – they are all businesses today for why else are the Roman Catholic, Baptists, Anglican, Uniting, Lutheran, other Christian sects and other religions so deeply involved in the $23 billion a year Aged Care Sector where they spend as little as $6 per day per inmate on Food! should not be given Rights which a re forbidden to the rest of Society.
    The Morrison Bill would have made it possible for Religious businesses to not simply discriminate and vilify
    against the GLBTIQ+ and Disabled Communities it would have enabled them to discriminate and vilify other religious businesses and individuals simply because they did not go along with their dogmas!
    I have always understood that the Federal Government does not have the Constitutional Power to negate or over-ride Laws passed by our Legitimate State Parliaments – unless there is a National Emergency such as War. I do know that the Federal Government does have the power to disallow Legislation passed in both the ACT and the Northern Territory – it is long past the time that the NT became a State.
    The Victorian Government has passed legislation which protects members of our and the Disabled/Difabled Community. None of it impinges on National Security so Morrison’s Bill would have been Unconstitutional.