No decision on Liberal complaint

No decision on Liberal complaint

The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal has reserved its judgment in a case involving a claim the Tasmanian Liberal Party vilified same-sex couples in its election material.

The Tribunal was looking at whether to overturn a decision by the Anti-Discrimination commissioner not to investigate a complaint brought against the Liberal Party by transgender rights advocate, Martine Delaney.

In March this year the Liberal party circulated an election pamphlet which said The Greens’ support for same-sex marriage was socially destructive.

Delaney lodged a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination commissioner, claiming the comments incited hatred. When her complaint was rejected she appealed the decision.

Delaney told Sydney Star Observer she found the Tribunal’s inability to make a decision on the case this week frustrating and hoped a decision would be made in the next few months.

Another of her complaints was accepted and is currently before the commissioner. It was about election material allegedly distributed by religious group Exclusive Brethren, which said The Greens’ policies on transgender and intersex people would ruin our families and societies.

Last week the federal Senate refused a motion by Greens leader Bob Brown to hold an inquiry into the political activity of the Exclusive Brethren, which is allegedly behind anti-gay and anti-transgender advertising campaigns in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The motion was defeated 59 votes to four.

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz claimed such an investigation would amount to vilification of a religious group.

Their only sin is that they ventured into politics, Abetz said, ABC News reported.

When the leader of a political party starts scapegoating religious minorities, the alarm bells of history should be ringing loud and clear.

Delaney hoped the commissioner would find the Brethren guilty.

While I strongly support free speech, with every right comes a responsibility and the Brethren have failed to exercise that responsibility, Delaney said.

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