Victorian Government Funds Support for LGBTIQ + Community After Shelving Religious Bills

The Victorian Labor government has further to organizations supporting the LGBTIQ + group in response to the “unnecessary and harmful public debate on the legal protection of young LGBTIQ + Australians,” following the shelving of religious discrimination bills. Announced funding.

The religious bill passed the House of Representatives on February 10, after the Union agreed to amend the Sex Discrimination Act (SDA). This will prevent religious schools from excluding gay and lesbian students.

This amendment did not apply to transgender students, causing five liberals to cross the floor of the House of Representatives.

However, the bill was subsequently withdrawn indefinitely after the Labor Party, the government resolved on February 10 to remove the bill from the Senate agenda, and the coalition said the amendment could encourage discrimination against children. He said he received legal advice suggesting.

Following this withdrawal, the Victorian Labor Party Government Statement released on February 13 Promising a $ 200,000 package to a local organization that supports the LGBTIQ + community, Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews has funded a recent religious discrimination bill.

“The discussions in Canberra endanger our young LGBTIQ + community,” said James Merlino, Minister of Education and Mental Health in Victoria, and the government “diverse Victoria in queer and gender.” I am sending a message to the people of the state in this state. ” , You are supported and loved and welcome exactly who you are. “

Apart from additional funding to the LGBTIQ + support group, Victorian Budget 2021/22 will be available to other mental health organizations in the minority group, including $ 7 million to extend the free LGBTIQ + support helpline Rainbow Door. I have invested $ 10,000.

According to the Victorian Government Victorian 5.7% Identified as LGBTIQ +, but Statistics by profile ID from 2016 Approximately 47.9% of Victorian people are Christian, 10.6% are religious but non-Christian, and 31.9% have nominated non-religious.

Victoria amended the Equal Opportunity Act in 2021 (pdf), Restrict religious schools to allow adherence to religious principles only to the preferences of employees in roles inherent in that role.

Also, roles that require adherence to religious principles and beliefs are limited to the religious beliefs and activities of the employee, but to the person’s sexual orientation, sexual activity, gender identity, and marriage history. Discrimination based is not applicable.

The Religious Discrimination Bill sought to overturn these amendments, allowing religious schools and organizations to prioritize hiring staff in line with the spirit of the school, which is primarily for the elderly homes and places that provide care and hospitality. Did not apply to.

Australian Christian Lobby announced on February 10 that it would withdraw support for the bill, which was aimed at supporting faith-based schools, but now “does more harm than good.” Stated.

“Removing the protection of a Christian school is too expensive to pay for the passage of a religious discrimination bill,” said ACL Director Wendy Francis.

“This loss of protection outweighs the potential benefits of a religious discrimination bill.”

Old-age Minister Jane Hume said the coalition wants to strike the right balance of legislation, despite government members crossing the floor.

“I don’t want to see children being expelled from school based on their sexual identity,” she told ABC. “But at the same time, we want to ensure that we respect parents’ right to choose to send their children to gender-separated schools.”

The bill was referred to and considered by the Australian Law Amendment Commission.

Marina Chan


Marina Chan is based in Melbourne and focuses on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected]

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