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National, News

How you can help fight the religious discrimination bill

A new resource is providing guidance for advocates who want to contribute to lobbying against the Australian government’s proposed religious discrimination bill.

Long-time LGBTIQ+ rights activists Shelley Argent and Rodney Croome have released a new 35-minute video resource that addresses issues including problems with the bill, how to make a case against it, who needs to hear that case, and how to respond to those who want the bill.

“We call this video ‘lounge room lobbying’ because we want to bring our experience lobbying against this bill into people’s lives and homes,” said Argent.

“The religious discrimination bill will take away the rights of many groups in society and each of us can play a role in defeating this push to roll back LGBTIQ+ equality.

“COVID may have pushed the bill off the front page, but it is very likely to return and we need to be ready.”

Protests were held earlier this year around Australia against the proposed legislation, which would permit discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people, women, people of racial and religious minorities, and other marginalised groups.

Croome said the advocates aimed to “encourage and skill members of the LGBTIQ+ community and their families to speak out against this woeful piece of legislation”.

“To do this, we decided to make a video that addresses many of the questions LGBTIQ+ people ask us about how they can make a difference,” said Croome.

“The video complements the information and action site we have set up called Equality not Discrimination, which I urge everyone who opposes this bill to have a look at.”

The federal government has already been flooded with complaints and calls to scrap the religious discrimination bill.

The recent US Supreme Court decision that LGBTIQ+ people are protected by existing civil rights legislation has led to increased calls for Australia to ensure robust anti-discrimination laws.

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