Former Federal Labor Leader turned NSW One Nation MP Mark Latham has introduced a Bill in to the NSW Parliament to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act - this Bill is now the subject of an inquiry.
The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act is well overdue for a review, but this Bill does not offer the solutions we need, instead it promoted to rights of some people over many others.
The impact of this Bill on the LGBTIQ+ community, women, people with a disability as well as some people of faith will be significant.
In NSW, faith-based organisations are routinely given government contracts and funding to deliver education, housing, childcare, medical services, aged care, adoption and other essential services.
Broadening the ability of these organisations to discriminate against people they don’t feel share their beliefs would be disastrous.
If adopted, this bill would:
- Allow faith-based organisations and commercial bodies to challenge government programs, policies, contracts and decisions which contradict their religion,
- Make it very difficult for government and non-government employers to take action against an employee or member who uses their religion privately to hurt others,
- Give faith-based organisations the ability to discriminate on the grounds of religion in employment, education and service delivery, even when receiving public funding,
- Give protection to religious activities which may be unlawful, such as religious activities that vilify others or breach civil obligations;
- Prioritise freedom of religion above all other rights and freedoms under NSW anti-discrimination laws.
You can read more about the bill and it’s alarming consequences here.
If you would like the make a submission to the inquiry into the Bill, you can do so here before 21 August 2020.