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Sham Consultation on Anti-Discrimination Act Changes

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 19 September 2016

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

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader 

If amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 are tabled this week it will be an indictment on Premier Hodgman, who has caved in to the extremists in his Cabinet and the Australian Christian Lobby.

We understand amendments to the State's anti-discrimination laws will shortly land in Parliament, after very little consultation. The people of Tasmania had about a fortnight to provide input and the amendments were drafted within one week of submissions closing.

That is a sham consultation process.

These changes are unnecessary and create the potential for a deluge of discriminatory language and hate speech towards LGBTI Tasmanians in the lead up to a possible plebiscite on marriage equality.

The lack of consultation with the Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Robin Banks, is deeply regrettable.  Ms Banks is the government's key legal adviser on the Anti-Discrimination Act.  

These proposed changes are all about Will Hodgman caving into his conservative Cabinet colleagues and the hard right Christian groups at the expense of LGBTI Tasmanians. The Greens will continue to argue persistently against the planned weakening of Tasmania's anti-discrimination laws.

Despite being given numerous opportunities in the Parliament and in public debate to do so, the Premier still hasn't been able, or willing, to articulate what it is these religious groups will want to say about marriage equality that they can't already.