Star Observer: LGBT Activists Oppose NSW Religious Vilification Bill

Queer activist groups and human rights organisations have come out in opposition to the proposed NSW religious vilification bill, citing its failure to adequately protect LGBTQI communities.

The bill amends the Anti-Discrimination Act to make it “unlawful to, by a public act, incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons, because of their religious belief, affiliation or activity.”

In a statement, President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) Josh Pallas called on the Bill to either “address all discrimination now” or be withdrawn until the review of the Anti-Discrimination Act by the NSW Law Reform Commission is complete.

“It’s not fair that religious belief gains more protections when religious organisations will still be exempt from parts of the Act and be allowed to discriminate against others,” Pallas said.

“We want an Anti-Discrimination Act that does not discriminate. To move on one part, without moving on other glaring deficiencies sends a bad message to the community about whose rights and interests are privileged over others.”

Pallas continued, “Others within the community, trans people, people with intersex variations and sex workers receive inadequate protections under NSW anti-discrimination law. Where is their protection? Why should religious organisations receive protection before them?”

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