17 August 2020
I’m very concerned that the proposed Religious Freedoms and Equality Bill undermines existing protections from discrimination that have been established over decades to protect groups who are vulnerable. The bill would protect someone’s actions from reproach in employment, education or service delivery if they can be justified on the grounds of very loose subjective religious beliefs, provided the actions don’t constitute criminal offences. This could include highly offensive statements against an LGBTI person, a single woman or even someone of another religion. . As a member of the Parliamentary joint select committee reviewing the bill, I’ll be focussed on ensuring we do not go back to a time when discrimination and vilification against women, LGBTIQ people, ethnic minorities and people with disability was acceptable on any grounds.