The Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG+) group have created a new website campaign protesting against the Religious Discrimination Bill.
Within 24 hours of launching on January 2, the website sent 500 emails to Australia’s leading politicians. Many of the emails include personal stories illustrating the depth of anxiety, frustration and anger about the Bill.
National PFLAG+ Australia spokesperson, Shelley Argent said in a press release that the website has obviously struck a chord with those who oppose the Bill. Argent also noted the importance of delivering personal messages to lawmakers who may dare to ignore the unanimous and widespread public opposition.
“Both the high number of emails, and the personalised messages included in many of those emails, show there is deep opposition to this Bill and people want it scrapped.
“PFLAG+ will step up its efforts to ensure as many Australians as possible have the chance to email politicians expressing their opposition to the Bill.
“We want politicians to know they ignore public opposition to this Bill at their peril.”
PFLAG’s online email campaign has now sent over 1000 emails to parliamentary leaders including Attorney-General Christian Porter, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Greens justice spokesperson Nick McKim.
PFLAG’s system is also sending personal emails to the Religious Discrimination Bill Consultation and cross-bench members of both houses of Parliament which includes Jacqui Lambie, Pauline Hanson, Zali Steggall and Andrew Wilkie.
The emails express fears about an increase in hate speech and the wellbeing of loved ones if the Bill is introduced. Many question why Australia, as a secular society, needs such a bill, while others object to an institution guilty of sexual abuses should be allowed such powers.
PFLAG’s campaign unveiling comes after the official date for Sydney’s protest against the controversial Religious Discrimination Bill was announced for February 8, 2020.
Hosted LGBTQI activist groups including the Community Action for Rainbow Rights, LGBTI Rights Australia and the National Union of Students Queer/LGBTI, the protest will begin at 1 pm on Saturday and is expected to attract over 5,000 participants.
A Facebook page for the event has been set up which describes Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney General, Christian Porter’s much-dreaded Religious Discrimination Bill as a “broad attack” on social, political and religious minorities.
“The Morrison Government is launching a broad attack on anyone who has won protection from discrimination in recent decades: women, LGBTIQ folk, people with disability, racial, ethnic and religious minorities; all will be targeted by the so-called “Religious Freedom” Bills,” the page reads.
“If passed, the law would give bigots across Australia the right to discriminate, deny the freedoms of others and impose their views in key areas of public life: healthcare, employment, education and other services.
“It’s up to us to send a clear message to Morrison, and anyone else thinking about supporting this legislation, that the overwhelming majority of people oppose granting religious organisations, business owners, or whoever else, the right to discriminate!”