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Anti-Discrimination Act Changes Must be Ditched

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tags: Anti-Discrimination Act, Discrimination, LGBTI, Marriage Equality, Hate Speech

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Federal Labor's decision to join the Australian Greens in rejecting the proposed national plebiscite on marriage equality now leaves the Hodgman Government with no basis for proceeding with changes to Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Act 1998.

The plebiscite Bill will fail in the Senate, and given that it was the spark for divisive and damaging changes to State anti-discrimination law, Premier Hodgman should have the courage to withdraw the Bill.

The Anti-Discrimination Act (Amendment) Bill 2016 is still going through the second reading stages in the Tasmanian House of Assembly. 

The changes have been condemned by the State's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, the Commissioner for Children and Young People, the Law Society, Women's Legal Service, Community Legal Centres, Civil Liberties Australia (Tas) and LGBTI advocates.

Given that the only apparent supporters for these changes are in the hard Right of the Tasmanian Liberal Party and that the national plebiscite will fall over, the time is right for the legislation to be withdrawn.

This would not only just be the right thing to - belatedly - do, it would also be in the interests of every Tasmanian the current Act seeks to protect from discrimination, humiliation, ridicule and hate speech.

It's up to the Premier.  Will he proceed with this nasty amendment Bill, or will he remain captive to the Right wing ideologues in his Cabinet and his Party?