Towards the end of last year, the Government released a second draft of the religious discrimination bills. For our families, these Bills are even worse than the first drafts.
While Rainbow Families strongly supports people being protected from discrimination on the basis of their religion (or no religion), these Bills would allow people and organisations to discriminate against our families by allowing discriminatory behaviour, and refusing services and accommodation. The drafts also over-ride existing anti-discrimination protections.
Along with Rainbow Families Victoria and Rainbow Families Queensland, we made a second submission to the Government about our concerns. Check it out here.
But as a community, we still need to let our elected representatives know about how these Bills will affect our families and ask them not to support the proposed legislation.
Thousands of people have signed the Equality Australia petitions. But nothing beats a personal letter or email to your local MP, about how this legislation will impact you and your family. Prefilled form letters are much more likely to be ignored that something personalised where you share your story.
How to write a letter to my member of Parliament:
- Check your federal electorate here and then get an email contact for your MP by searching here.
- Make sure your letter includes your address. If an MP knows you’re a constituent, then they are much more likely to respond.
- Include an Ask that they don’t support the legislation.
- Make your letter short and personal. No more than one page. Tell your MP what the legislation will mean for you and / or your kids. EG:
- Under these Bills, church run camps and conference centres could refuse to hire their premises to Rainbow Families, that’s stigmatising and discriminatory.
- Under these bills someone could make a “statement of belief” that our families are unnatural, that would have huge impacts on the mental wellbeing of our kids.
- Religious Freedom legislation from the U.S. has been shown to have negative consequence on LGBTIQA+ communities.
- See more examples in our submissions here.
Most importantly practice self care