One Nation MP Mark Latham suffered an ignominious defeat in the NSW Parliament after he failed to get MPs in the Upper House to back his anti-LGBTQI Religious Freedom Bill

The NSW Legislative Council on Wednesday voted down the Bill 29 – 4, with government and Opposition MPs uniting to vote against the Bill. 

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Latham was quick to blame the major parties for the fate of the bill. “Liberal, Labor, Nationals and Greens combined to defeat my Bill providing protection for people of religious faith against discrimination,” Latham posted on Twitter. 

Greens, Labor and ‘Modern-Woke Liberals’

Mark Latham and Pauline Hanson

Latham failed to find much support for his Bill and had earlier told Sky News, “I’ve got to say, the Green Liberals, the so-called modern, woke Liberals – we’ve got the same problem in Macquarie Street as we had in Canberra.”

The reference was to five Liberal MPs crossing the floor in federal Parliament to vote with Labor and crossbenchers to add protection for gay and trans students in Scott Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill. This infuriated conservative Christian groups and reportedly led to Morrison indefinitely shelving the Bill. 

The One Nation leader in his Bill ostensibly sought to protect people of faith by making changes to NSW’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1977

Latham’s Anti-LGBTQI Bills

According to national LGBTQI advocacy group Equality Australia, Latham’s Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill, had a number of provisions that would “adversely affect, among others, LGBTQ+ people, women, divorced and unmarried people, and even people of faith.”

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Latham’s bill would have allowed religious organisations to discriminate on the grounds of religion in education, employment and providing services, according to Equality Australia. Hateful conduct would have been allowed in the name of religious beliefs and state laws that protect LGBTQI and other communities would be overridden. 

Equality Australia welcomed the defeat of Latham’s Bill in a post on twitter. The group pointed out that the Liberal government in NSW had indicated that they would come up with their own religious Freedom Bill. “If the government decides to legislate, it must consult with affected communities and deliver laws that protect all of us, equally, including removing carve-outs that currently allow private schools and religious organisations to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people,” said Equality Australia.

The MP has another anti-Trans Bill –  The Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 – pending in the NSW Parliament. 

Latham’s Tirade Against Gay MPs

Earlier this month, following the debacle of Morrison’s Religious Discrimination Bill, Latham had launched a tirade against the supposed influence of gay MPs in Australia. 

“The debacle in Canberra, where an attempt to protect people of faith against discrimination morphed into yet another focus on LGBTIQ alphabet, highlights something MSM will never report: The disproportionate, self-centred, destructive influence of gay MPs in all major parties,” Latham claimed. 

“These MPs are driven more by sexuality than party ideology.

“Gays have higher incomes and education levels and stronger political and media access than the rest of society, yet the MPs persist with a precious persecution complex overriding more important and valid equity issues,” the One Nation MP said. 

Latham reserved some of his harshest assessment for his LGBTQI colleagues in the NSW Parliament. “NSW Parliament is even worse, where they have a cross-party working group of gay and lesbian MPs, trying to and very often dominating the legislative agenda. The hidden story of how our politics functions today.”

 

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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