End Discriminatory Religious Privileges


“When LGBTI people face discrimination and hatred, God weeps.” – Shelley Argent

LGBTI equality advocates have welcomed a community statement calling for an end to laws that allow religious organisations to discriminate against LGBTI people. [Click here to read the Joint Statement]

The statement was organised by Community Activists Against Homophobia and was signed by over 100 community organisations, activists and prominent personalities 

It comes ahead of Government’s religious discrimination and freedom legislation which advocates fear may undermine discrimination protections for LGBTI people.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“Just as LGBTI Australians did not stand for inequality in marriage, we will not abide attacks on our rights and dignity under the cover of ‘religious freedom’.”

“For over twenty years, my home state of Tasmania has prohibited anti-LGBTI discrimination by all religious organisations and anti-LGBTI hate speech in the name of religion, without the sky falling in.” “I want all LGBTI Australians to have the same level of legally-guaranteed safety and inclusion LGBTI Tasmanians enjoy.”

“We call on both major parties to rule out ‘religious freedom’ being used to undo the gains made with marriage equality, and to commit to removing exemptions in national law that allow discrimination in God’s name.”

National PFLAG spokesperson, Shelley Argent OAM, said,

“When LGBTI people face discrimination and hatred, God weeps. The Bible should never be used as a weapon of abuse against anyone, including LGBTI people.”

“When some religious leaders talk about ‘religious freedom’ what they mean is maintaining their power and privilege to disadvantage and vilify our LGBTI children.”

“As parents of LGBTI people we are determined to foster a society where everyone has equal rights and protections.”

“That means not allowing discrimination and hate speech across the board, including by people who say they speak in the name of God.”

Click here to read the Joint Statement signed by

Community Action Against Homophobia
Rodney Croome
Rev. Becky Bauer, Melbourne Inclusive Church
Tom Ballard
Jenny Leong, NSW Greens State MP for Newtown
Sex and Gender Education (SAGE) Australia
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Leichhardt Uniting Church
Equal Love Melbourne
Equality Tasmania
Shelley Argent
First Mardi Gras
The Original 78ers Collective
Katherine Wolfgramme, Trans Advocate & Gender Diversity Consultant
Trans Health Australia
Australian Catholics for Equality
Pauline Pantsdown
National Union of Students
National Union of Students Queer/LGBTI Department
Doug Pollard, editor of The Stirrer
James Brechney, DIY Rainbow
Helen Razer, journalist
Roz Ward, co founder of Safe Schools
Norrie mAy-Welby
Young Labor Left Victoria
NSW Young Greens
Greens Senator for NSW Dr Mehreen Faruqi
Asian Australian Rainbow Alliance
Ben Cooper
Rev. Karl Hand, Crave Church, Sydney.
Rev. Dale Yardy, Metropolitan Community Church, Sydney
Rev. Robert Clark, Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of the Good Shepherd, Granville
Rev. Alex Pittaway, Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church, Brisbane
Rev. Sue Townsend, Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church, Melbourne
PJ Dwyer, President, Metropolitan Community Church Welfare Services Equal Voices
Damien Stevens-Todd, Uniting Church member and Uniting Network Australia – Vic rep
Saskia Mason, University of Western Australia Pride Officer
Steff Fenton,Equal VoicesSydney University Queer Action Collective
Newcastle University Queer Collective
Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire
Giti Datt, co-founder of FOBGAYS+ (Friends and Families Of Brown, South Asian Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual, Queer, Transgender, Intersex & Asexual+ Peoples)
Cedric Cheung, CEO of ANTRA (Australia and New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance)
Charbel Zada, President of the Macquarie University Queer Collective
Sydney Queer And Disability Community Group
Bridge Truell, Queer Officer, Curtin Student Guild – Queer Department
The Gay Mafia Australia
Douglas Clifford
Jazzlyn Breen, Co-convener of Sydney University Women’s Collective and Sexual Harassment Officer
Paul Harvey
Peta Hay
Ricki Coughlan, trans advocate and champion athlete
Liz Ross, author of Revolution is for Us: the left and the gay liberation movement
Dashie Prasad, co-convenor Australian Queer Students’ Network (AQSN)
Reclaim the Streets, Sydney
Jack London
Peta Friend, trans advocate
Elytta Manton, Lismore activist & Bundjalong sistergirl
Tim Blackman, queer teacher and union activist
Mark Nowicki, teacher
Emmanuel Monteiro, teacher
Moira Nolan, teacher
Pete Davidson, teacher
Wendy Bacon, journalist
Jamie Parker Greens NSW MP for Balmain
Garry Wotherspoon, author and historian, awarded the Centenary of Australia Medal for his work as an academic, researcher, and human rights activist
David Menadue, awarded OAM for services to people with HIV
Dr Sophie Robinson, Secretary – Pride History Group
Dr Scott McKinnon, Historian
Peter Murphy, Co-chair 78er Collective
Titi Chartay, Co-chair 78er Collective
Gai Egg, 78er
William Brougham, LGBTI activist and film maker
David Urquart, photo artist & Sydney gay activistMichael Schembri, Sydney gay left activist
Chloe Rafferty, President of Wollongong Undergraduate Student Association
Hersha Kadkol, NUS National Ethno-Cultural Officer
Madeleine Powell, NUS Campus Rep for University of Sydney
Caitlin Keogh, UNSW Education Officer
Shovan Bhattarai, NUS Campus Rep for UNSW
Sage Jupe, NUS Campus Representative for University of South Australia
Leila Clendon, NUS Campus Representative for Adelaide University
Peter Burrell-Sander, University of Sydney Queer Officer
Vinil Kumar, Mature Age Officer, University of Sydney SRC
Anne-Marie Delahunt, ACT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Ministerial Advisory Council chair
Anni Dale, Rainbow Refugee Action Campaign
Meg Clarke, Rainbow Refugee Action Campaign
Rainbow Refugee Action Campaign
Sam Elkin, LGBTIQ outreach lawyer, St Kilda Legal Service
Bunyip Wallows / Paul Hannagan
Lee Rhiannon, Former Greens NSW Senator
David Shoebridge, NSW Greens MP
Abigail Boyd, NSW Greens MP
The Greens NSWDr Anni Dugdale
Ollie HendersonPaul Gregoire, Writer/Journalist
T Fortune, single mother
Trans Action Warrang
Max Tran, Queer Convenor, Newcastle University Students’ Association’s Queer Collective

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)