Dear Prime Minister,

Our laws should protect all of us, equally.

We are organisations representing a diverse range of stakeholders.

We support fair and equal discrimination laws which protect all of us, including people of faith and those who are not religious, equally alongside other groups. However, previously released drafts of the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill failed to protect all of us, equally.

Among our concerns are a bill that would:

  • override existing discrimination protections, including for women, people with disability, LGBTIQ+ people and people with different or no religious beliefs;
  • make it harder for employers, educators, and professional and licencing bodies to foster inclusive cultures and protect their employees, students, customers and clients from offensive and derogatory comments based on religion;
  • allow health professionals to put their religious beliefs ahead of their patient’s health.

Previous drafts of the Religious Discrimination Bill included provisions which allowed each of the above to occur. A Religious Discrimination Bill which contains any of the above offending provisions would not attract our support.

We urge the Government to ensure that any Religious Discrimination Bill it introduces does not remove existing discrimination protections or undermine Australians’ access to non-judgemental healthcare. It must ensure all our workers, students, customers and clients are equally protected from discrimination, no matter who they are, whom they love or what they believe. It must not privilege the rights and beliefs of one group over another. It must be alive to the real harm caused by divisive and discriminatory rhetoric that undermines the inclusive organisations and society that we have attempted to build together. It must not take us backwards.

Unless the Religious Discrimination Bill protects all of us, equally, we cannot support it.

We urge you to ensure that any Religious Discrimination Bill is put to a public inquiry so that Parliament can hear from those directly impacted by these laws.

Signatories:

Australian Community Support Organisation (ACSO)
Acceptance Melbourne
Acceptance Sydney for LGBT Catholics Inc
ACON
ACT Council of Social Service
ACT Greens
Activate Church
Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International
Amitabha Foundation Australia
Amnesty International Australia
Anglican Social Responsibilities Commission, Perth
Anglicare Victoria
澳纽彩盟 ANTRA
Artlink
ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis & Sexual Health Medicine)
Asian Australian Alliance
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
Aust Neighbourhood Houses & Centres Assoc
Australian Association of Social Workers
Australian Catholics for Equality
Australian Council of Social Service
Australian Council of Trade Unions
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations
Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council
Australian Medical Students’ Association
Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights
Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation
Australian Pro Bono Centre
Australian Rainbow Labor Network
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society
Australian Sangha Association
Australian Services Union
Australian Transgender Support Association Qld
Australian Women’s Health Network
Ballarat Community Health
Bendigo Pride Festival
Bendigo Queer Film Festival
Benedictus Media
Bespoke Careers
Better Place Australia
Bi+ Community Perth
BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation
Buddhist Council of NSW
Buddhist Library
BuildingPride
BuildPass
Canberra Airport
Catholics Moving Forward Shoalhaven
Central Australian Women’s Legal Service
Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare
Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health, University of Melbourne
Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health
Centre for Social Research in Health
Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA)
Children by Choice
City of Sydney
CMY
cohealth
Colac Otway Pride and Diversity
ColourFull Abilities
Community Legal Centres NSW
Community Living Association Inc
Concerned Catholics Wollongong
Connect Health & Community
CoPAHM – Community of Practice for Action on HIV and Mobility
COTA SA
Council to Homeless Persons, Victoria
Curtin University RSE Project
Dayenu – Sydney’s Jewish LGBTQ+ Group
Diverse-City
Diversity Council Australia
Domestic Violence NSW
Drummond Street Services
DV West
Dying with Dignity NSW
Equal Voices
Equality Australia
Equality Rights Alliance
Equality Tasmania
Fair Agenda
Family Planning NSW
Federation of Community Legal Centres Vic Inc
First Step
Foster Care Association of Victoria
Foundation for Young Australians
Geelong for Equality
Gender-Affirming Network of Queensland
Gensler
Gippsland Lakes Complete Health
GRAI GLBTI Rights in Ageing
Habonim Dror Sydney
Harm Reduction Victoria
Harmony Alliance: Migrant and Refugee Women for Change
Health Justice Australia
Healthy Equal Youth
Hepatitis Australia
Homelessness Australia
Human Rights Law Centre
IEUA
Immigration Advice and Rights Centre
Inclusive Catholics
Inner City Legal Centre
Intersex Human Rights Australia
Intersex Peer Support Australia
intertwine
Jesuit Social Services
JOY Melbourne Inc. (JOY Media)
Just.Equal Australia
Justice Connect
JV Recruitment
Katherine Women’s Information and Legal Service
Kindred Spirits Australia
Kingsford Legal Centre
Kisenji Buddhist Centre
Koskela
Laurel House
LGBTI Legal Service Inc.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia
Limestone Coast Connect
Mallee Pride
Mannifera
Marie Stopes Australia
Minus18 Foundation Inc
National Foundation for Australian Women
National Older Women’s Network inc
National Rural Womens Coalition
National Secular Lobby
Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (NADA)
New City Church
No to Violence
NSW Council for Civil Liberties
NSW Council of Social Service
NSW Teachers Federation
NSW Users and AIDS Association
NTAHC
NTCOSS
Ogilvy
Older Women’s Network NSW
Parents of Gender Diverse Children
People with Disability Australia
Plain Reason
Planet Ally
Pounce Communications
Pride in Law
Public Health Advocacy Institute
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
QSIS
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated
Queensland Council for LGBTI Health
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS)
Queer Screen
Queers in Property
Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community
Rainbow Catholics InterAgency for Ministry
Rainbow Families
Rainbow Families Queensland
Rainbow Families Victoria
Rainbow Futures WA
Rainbow Health Victoria
Rainbow Rights Watch
Rainbow Roo
Rationalist Society of Australia Inc
Reasonuance
Redfern Legal Centre
Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS)
Regional Design Service
Reichstein Foundation
Relationship Matters
Remedy Australia
Republic of Everyone
Rights Resource Network SA
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
SA Pride at Work
Sacred Heart Mission
Sanctuary Baptist
Scarlet Alliance – Australian Sex Workers Association
Schiavello
Settlement Services International
SHINE SA
Sidney Myer Fund
SIN
SiREN – Sexual Health and Blood-Borne Virus Applied Research and Evaluation Network
Slattery
Snow Foundation
Snow Medical Research Foundation
Social Policy Research Centre. UNSW
Social Outcomes
South Australian Council of Social Service
South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA)
Southwest Victoria Pride
Star Health
Stonewall Medical Centre
STRATA EMBASSY
Switchboard Victoria
Sydney Queer Muslims Inc
The Aurora Group
The Disability, Illness and Divergence Association at the University of Adelaide
The Equality Project
The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia
The Institute of Many (TIM)
The Koorie Pride Victoria Ltd
The Myer Foundation
The Secular Association of NSW
The undersigned members of the Australian Discrimination Law Experts Group
Thorne Harbour Health
TLLPC
Toowoomba Catholics for Church Renewal
Top End Women’s Legal Service
Trans and Gender Diverse Bendigo and Beyond
Trans Health Australia
Trans Pride Australia
Transcend Australia
TransFolk of WA
Transgender Victoria
TransMascSA
Twenty10
Unions Tasmania
UnionsWA
Uniting Network Australia
Uniting Vic.Tas
UNPACKED International
UNSW Education Collective
UNSW Environment Collective
UNSW Ethnocultural Collective
UNSW Queer Collective
UNSW SRC Womens Collective
UNSW SWD Collective
UNSW Welfare Collective
Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association
Victorian Council of Social Service
Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council
Victorian Pride Lobby
Victorian Trades Hall Council
Welcoming Australia
Western Region Alcohol and Drug centre Inc
Windana
Women in STEM Society
Women With Disabilities ACT
Women With Disabilities Australia
Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) Australia
Women’s Electoral Lobby NSW
Women’s Health NSW
Women’s Health Queensland
Women’s Health Victoria
Women’s Health West
Women’s Legal Service NSW
Yfoundations
Ygender
Youth Pride Network
YSAS
YWCA AUSTRALIA