Scott Morrison meets with faith leaders on religious freedom bill but not LGBTQI advocates

Scott Morrison meets with faith leaders on religious freedom bill but not LGBTQI advocates
Image: Scott Morrison meets with Australian faith leaders. Photo: ECAJ

It has been revealed that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with 21 religious leaders to consult with them on the Government’s proposed religious freedom legislation, as LGBTQI advocates continue to ask for a seat at the table.

J-Wire reported yesterday that leaders from Australia’s Jewish, Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Assyrian and Melkite communities, among others, were invited to a sit-down meeting with the Prime Minister earlier this week.

“There cannot be many other countries in the world in which the head of government can have a constructive conversation over one and a half hours with a such a diverse range of faith community leaders on as sensitive a topic as religious freedom and discrimination,” Executive Council of Australian Jewry Co-CEO Peter Wertheim said, after the meeting.

“Each of us outlined what was of importance to our respective communities not only with regard to the proposed legislation but also in terms of Australia’s broader cultural attitudes with regard to religion.”

“There was a large measure of agreement in the room about many of the principles that the government is grappling with in seeking a fair and workable balance between religious freedom and competing rights and freedoms. This sends a positive message to the world about how effectively Australia operates as a multi-faith and multicultural society.”

“From the tenor of his comments and responses to our concerns, I felt reassured that the rights and freedoms of people of faith to practise and preach their beliefs, and the rights and freedoms of faith-based schools and institutions to operate in accordance with their ethos, will continue to be protected in accordance with international norms.”

Just.Equal spokesperson Rodney Croome expressed his concern that advocates for the LGBTQI had not been given the same level of access as the government continues to draft its legislation that could potentially have wide ranging ramifications for existing anti-discrimination laws in Australia, or could further entrench religious exemptions to discriminate.

“The Prime Minister has met with religious leaders to discuss their desire for more “religious freedom.” But he has not met with LGBTI community representatives to discuss the adverse impacts on us of allowing discrimination in the name of religion,” Croome said.

“Until this happens the Government is open to accusations of bias against the LGBTI community.”

Croome encouraged concerned community members to sign petitions urging the Government to consult with the LGBTI community being organised by Just.Equal and Equality Australia on their websites.

You May Also Like

4 responses to “Scott Morrison meets with faith leaders on religious freedom bill but not LGBTQI advocates”

  1. Of course Morrison would not meet with members of our community over the issue of the nonsense of the Religious Freedom Bill because he, being a self-professed Pentecostal, who believes that the Bible was the very word of God, he therefore approves of Slavery, that women are the property of their fathers or if married, their husbands. Should either die they become the property of their brothers! He must also approve of Bigamy for the Word of God clearly states that “Should a woman’s husband die then she must marry her husband’s brother”
    Morrison has been so brain-washed by the Pentecostals that he would also approve Gay Conversion Therapy as promoted by the Baptists and other Pentecostal sects.
    Unless those wonderful Cross-Benchers in the Federal Senate stop Morrison, Albanese et al. then our Community can expect the most horrendous Religious Freedom Bill which will legally allow the promotion of Hatred, Vilification of all those who do not go along with their bigotry.

  2. Perhaps if more LGBT people choose to be politically engaged, then maybe we wouldn’t have Scott Morrison as PM. Too late now.

  3. Sexuality is vastly different from religious faith. For one, it’s based in actual reality and not make believe. Secondly, it’s not a personal choice. Thirdly it’s not just an excuse to be a misogynistic, homophobic, hypocritical, moralising conservative. I could go on.

    So in this case having LGBTQI representation at this meeting would have been very odd. (It would have been far more appropriate to have adherents of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to perhaps put the case on behalf of the LGBTQI community but once again we’re discriminated against, hey we’re used to it.)

    The LGBTQI community should certainly continue to lobby the government and should certainly continue to criticise attempts to undermine existing anti-discrimination and anti-vilification measures.

    But the LGBTQI community and its supporters should also remember that we won the plebiscite comfortably due to a message of simple love and acceptance. It would be hypocritical to say that these other hypocrites can’t all sit down with the PM to be hateful in the privacy of their own meeting. Let’s judge them on what they come up with, not what they do behind closed doors,