November 29, 2021
Contact: Erina Finau

Call to ACTION - Joint Inquiry of Religious Discrimination Bill

Help send the Religious Discrimination Bill to a Joint Parliamentary Inquiry

Ask for the Bill to be referred to a joint parliamentary inquiry, so that all MPs have the opportunity to contribute and hear from people directly affected by the laws.

As a matter of urgent priority, please write to or contact:

● Albanese, Leader of the Opposition 

[email protected]

T (02) 6277 4022

● Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Attorney General

[email protected] 

T (03) 9580 4651.

● Marise Payne

T (02) 6277 7500

[email protected] 

● Zali Steggall

[email protected]

T 02 9977 6411

● Rebekha Sharkie

[email protected]

T 8398 5566

● Dr Helen Haines

T 02 6277 4182
[email protected]

 

● Andrew Wilkie, 

[email protected]

T (02) 6277 4766

 

.......and your Federal MP

Points you may wish to make include:

As a WEL member /supporter you support protections for people of faith but not at the expense of other people’s protections. You are very concerned about the Bill’s impact on women.

  • This is complex legislation which undermines existing discrimination protections; it needs proper consideration
  • The text of the Bill  was only  made available last week, and MPs should have an opportunity to hear from their constituents before they are asked to put forward any position on the Bill.
  • There are really broad provisions that allow people to make harmful statements of belief in many areas of life (so long as they are not malicious, threatening, intimidating or harassing), and that would override anti-discrimination protections in state/territory laws.
  • A woman could go to a doctor or social worker for advice about accessing an abortion and be told that she is sinning in the eyes of God for contemplating an abortion, and the Bill would authorise that despite the potential impact on the patient, thereby undermining professional codes of conduct, as well as existing anti-discrimination protections.
  • There are also very broad provisions that grant a licence to religious bodies (schools, charities and any non-commercial organisation) to discriminate on the basis of religion in a wide range of areas - so long as they can show that one other person would reasonably consider their conduct to be in accordance with their religion or that the conduct is necessary to avoid injury to religious susceptibilities of adherents.
  • The licence to discriminate only extends to employment actions in hospitals, aged care facilities, accommodation providers and disability service providers – all areas in which women make up a majority of the workforce and are therefore at risk if their faith is different to a current or prospective employer.
  • The broad licence to discriminate would exist in addition to exemptions that religious bodies already have in existing anti-discrimination laws, and which allow them to discriminate against women, LGBTIQ + communities, people who are divorced, in a de facto relationship or pregnant etc.

Any support you can give by writing to your MPs would be greatly appreciated. 

 If you wish to write to other MPs too, please feel free to do so if you have time. 


Showing 2 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Lisa Seckold
    Done! Thank you! :-)
  • Erina Finau