National treasure and LGBTQI icon Magda Szubanski has always spoken out for the community. The recent debates over Scott Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill have been triggering for many in the LGBTQI community in Australia, especially gay and trans students. 

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The 60-year-old star of Kath and Kim, and Babe posted a video on social media with a special message for gay and trans kids. “If you get a chance to show support to a trans or LGBTQI kid… please do it,” Szubanski said in a post on Twitter. 

Support LGBTQI Kids

“Hi, there. I know this has been another one of those awful, bruising weeks for trans kids and for the LGBTQI people in general,” Szubanski said in the video. The actor did not mention the Religious Discrimination Bill by name but the reference was obvious. 

“And I just want to say, especially to trans kids, that we stand by you and with you.”

 “Know that there are many people out there of different faiths who completely love and affirm you,” said the actor who identifies as a “cultural Catholic”.

“Lots of love. Take care,” Szubanski signed off. 

Hard Week For Gay And Trans Kids

Szubanski came out on live TV in 2012 in support of same-sex marriages. In another tweet Szubanski celebrated the ten years anniversary of the public coming out. “One of the best decisions of my life,” said Szubanski. 

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Szubanski was one of the prominent voices of the ‘Yes’ campaign during the national vote on marriage equality in 2017 in Australia. 

The “bruising weeks” that Szubanski mentioned, referred to the public debate after Morrison attempted to push the Religious Discrimination Bill through Parliament. Equality Australia said the Bill, if passed, would allow organisations to discriminate against gay and trans students, disabled people, women and minority groups.

Morrison’s Bill

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Image: file photo.

The Bill had a provision to protect harmful and discriminatory “statements of belief” made under the guise of religious beliefs.  The Bill also overrode state anti-discrimination laws and allowed faith-based to discriminate while recruiting staff.

The Coalition tried to win over moderate Liberal MPs by amending the Sex Discrimination Act to remove the right of faith-based schools to discriminate against and expel gay students. However, the government allowed religious schools to retain the right to expel trans students. 

The Bill passed the House of Representatives, but with amendments supported by Labor and crossbench MPs, to protect gay and trans students. This upset conservative Christian organisations and they demanded that the government withdraw the Bill. The government subsequently removed the Bill from the agenda in the Senate and shelved it indefinitely. 

 

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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