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Premier Flags Weaker Anti-Discrimination Pre-Plebiscite

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 6 June 2016

Tags: Anti-Discrimination Act, LGBTI, Democracy, Discrimination, Marriage Equality, Australian Christian Lobby

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

In Budget Estimates today, the Premier confirmed that his government has been lobbied by the Australian Christian Lobby to weaken protections in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 in the lead up to a likely plebiscite on marriage equality.

There is only one reason the ACL and other anti-LGBTI hardliners want weaker anti-discrimination laws - they want to be free to say offensive, hurtful and at times damaging things about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in their fight to prevent equal marriage in this country.

LGBTI people are extremely worried about the Federal Liberals' plebiscite and the potential it has to unleash vilification towards them from the right wing Christian lobby and their supporters.

The Premier looked uncomfortable answering the questions today and he must know he really is playing with fire if he gets any amendments wrong and opens the door to dangerous and damaging comments.

In the interests of an inclusive and safe community for LGBTI Tasmanians, we would urge him to stand firm against discrimination and take a very slow and measured approach to any changes his government propose. This must include full public consultation on an exposure draft of the laws, not just discussions with lobby groups.

The Premier should rule out bowing to the hard right extremists at the expense of LGBTI Tasmanians, particularly young people who are highly vulnerable to mental health impacts as a result of discriminatory and offensive language directed at them because of their sexuality.