We the undersigned represent a range of researchers, community service organisations and advocacy groups that support communities throughout South Australia. We are united in our concerns about the draft Religious Discrimination Bill and its potential to cause harm to the communities we serve.
We respect the diversity off Australia and celebrate the multitude of beliefs, identities and cultures that co-exist within our society. We likewise celebrate the various faiths thoughout Australia and value the ability for such diverse communities to exist peacefully with one another.
While we respect the Government's intent to craft a Religious Discrimination Bill that will protect religious Australians from being discriminated against, we are deeply concerned that the current Bill goes too far.
Anti-Discrimination legislation should protect people from being discriminated against, but this Bill will allow religious Australians, and religious organisations, to discriminate against people who are different from them.
All Australians should be protected equally by the law, regardless of who they are of what they believe. It is for this reason that we call on the Government to reconsider this Bill to ensure that any legislation that is passed protects all of us from discrimination rather than handing some Australians a licence to discriminate against others.
For the sake of Australia's harmonious diversity, we ask all Federal politicians to stand with us in finding a better way forward.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch)
Child and Family Focus SA
Justice for Refugees SA
Public Law and Policy Research Unit
SA Lived Experience Leadership and Advocacy Network
SOS Copper Coast Suicide Prevention Network
South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS)
South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services (SANDAS)
South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA)
St John's Youth Services
Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (YACSA)