Australian Christian Lobby Targets Out Gay Sydney MP Alex Greenwich Over Equality Bill
Conservative right-wing organisation Australian Christian Lobby has targeted out gay Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich over his omnibus Equality Bill in NSW Parliament.
Greenwich introduced his Equality Bill in the Parliament in August. The private member’s bill proposes amending over 20 laws. The law reforms include outlawing harmful anti-gay conversion practices, banning discrimination against teachers and students in schools for being LGBTQI, decriminalising sex work, making it an offence to out or threaten to out an LGBTQI partner and removing surgery requirement for trans persons to change the sex marker on their birth certificates.
“At the heart of the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023 and the Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill 2023 is the truth that LGBTIQA+ people exist and are struggling. They should be recognised, protected in law and allowed to thrive,” Greenwich said in Parliament while introducing the Bill.
Christian Lobby Rants Against Equality Bill
The Australian Christian Lobby, which is working to stall Premier Chris Minns Labor government’s plans to introduce its own law to ban conversion practices in the state, has opposed Greenwich’s bill.
In a press statement, the Christian Lobby falsely claimed the Equality Bill has “a raft of obscene amendments” and would allow “all manner of degrading behaviour”.
“Greenwich’s proposed amendments would allow the open performance of acts of prostitution including masturbation and public acts of sex within view of schools, churches, hospitals,” railed Joshua Rowe, NSW State Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).
ACL Targets LGBTQI Communities
The Christian Lobby has previously campaigned against marriage equality and continues to lobby against LGBTQI law reforms in states. Their reaction to his Equality Bill did not surprise Greenwich.
“We have seen time and time again the damage caused by the ACL and their targeting of vulnerable communities, and their campaign makes my bill increasingly urgent,” Greenwich told Star Observer.
Greenwich said that his omnibus Equality Bill would “bring NSW in line with the other states and territories when it comes to equality and safety for LGBTQIA+ communities”.
The Sydney MP also urged the Minns government to show the same urgency that it showed with its law against religious vilification, a key demand from faith communities.
The Christian Lobby claimed that its lobbying had resulted in the Minns government delaying the proposed law to ban conversion practices. The government refuted the claims and said it would introduce the bill this year.
“The NSW Labor government moved quickly on religious vilification laws, but there will be concern in the LGBTQ community and beyond that same priority is not being applied to reforms that promote education, mediation, and prevent harm being caused to vulnerable LGBTQ people,” said Greenwich.