MEDIA RELEASE: Anti-Discrimination Reforms Prioritise Religious Protections

Commenting on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Vilification) Bill  introduced today by the NSW Labor Government, Jenny Leong Member for Newtown and Greens NSW Spokesperson for Anti-Discrimination said:


“The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act needs a full and independent review.  It does not need another ad hoc addition that inserts broad ‘religious vilification’ provisions without other protections or amends.


“Right now we are seeing a disturbing increase of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and aggression online and on the streets.


“But instead of prioritising protections against discrimination and vilification for the LGBTQIA+ community and sex workers - the amendment introduced today only inserts broad religious protections in the Anti-Discrimination Act.


“We should be amending the Anti-Discrimination Act to remove exemptions that allow religious organisations and small businesses to discriminate.


“Under this bill, the NSW Labor Government will further embolden conservative religious organisations,  groups and commentators by introducing broad protections for “religious activity” - which is not clearly defined. 


“This legislation also fails to define religious belief and does not limit discrimination to ‘natural persons’.


“The Greens will work with Anti-Discrimination experts and LGBTQIA+ activists on this bill and continue to push for an overhaul of the Anti-Discrimination Act to ensure comprehensive protections for the LGBTQIA+ community and sex workers.”

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