The Equality Tasmania group has released two new fact sheets highlighting the adverse effects of the draft Religious Discrimination Bill on Tasmanians.
The aim of the fact sheets is to encourage Tasmanians to make their views on the draft bill known to the federal government, and protect Tasmania’s strong anti-discrimination legislation from a proposed federal government override.
Tasmania is singled out for special treatment under the draft Religious Discrimination Bill because it has stronger discrimination protections than other Australian states.
In the new fact sheets, the benefits of Tasmania’s existing discrimination law are explained, while the federal government’s rationale for overriding the Tasmanian law is countered.
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Andrew Badcock said the group hoped to rally Tasmanians against the federal government’s proposed changes.
“We are circulating these fact sheets to mobilise Tasmanians to defend our gold standard Anti-Discrimination Act from attack,” said Badcock in a media statement.
“Tasmania has gone from having the worst laws on [LGBTQI] human rights to having the best, and we will not allow our progress to be rolled back.
“We want all Tasmanians who will be adversely impacted by this override, including everyone who falls foul of traditional religious dogma, to take action,” he said.
One of the two fact sheets examines the potential impact of the Religious Discrimination Bill on LGBTQI Tasmanians.
The other looks at the impact of the proposed federal government override on a broad range of Tasmanians including LGBTQI people, people with a disability, single parents, unmarried partners, racial minorities and more.
Copies of the fact sheets can be downloaded online at equal.org.au/equality_tasmania_religious_discrimination_fact_sheets.
Submissions to the federal government providing feedback on the draft Religious Discrimination Bill close on Wednesday, 2 October.
They can be sent by email to ‘Religious Discrimination Bill consultation’ at FoRConsultation@ag.gov.au or can be made via the Attorney General Christian Porter’s website at ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages/religious-freedom-bills.aspx.