The ALP’s appalling capitulation to religious bigots has been roundly criticised this week. Despite overhauling Australia’s federal anti-discrimination legislation, the ALP has apparently done a deal with the
devil Australian Christian Lobby, assuring them that exemptions to anti-discrimination laws will remain in place for religious organisations.
The Prime Minister has assured religious extremists they will still have the freedom to target fellow Australians who offend their religious ‘sensibilities’ – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, unmarried mothers and people living in defacto relationships to name just a few of the ‘sinners’ the ‘religious’ would prefer not to employ.
Voters should be particularly interested in Senator Doug Cameron’s admission that this cozy little deal was made arbitrarily; the matter, he says, was not discussed in caucus.
Well may we ask which members of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) have been busy pulling Ms Gillard’s strings! Mr Farrell? Mr de Bruyn? What exactly do you owe these people, Ms Gillard, that you will bypass caucus in order to fulfil their wishes?
Of course, this little victory has made the ACL’s managing director, Jim Wallace, a right happy little Vegemite. Although, curiously, while lauding the government for preserving bigots’ ‘religious freedom’ to flout the laws which every other Australian has to follow, Mr Wallace says it’s ‘not a big issue’. Indeed, Mr Wallace insists that, as far as he’s aware, there are no religious institutions which actually practice the discrimination they’ve so vociferously demanded. WTF???
Yep. “We lobbied for a right to discriminate, but don’t get your knickers in a knot, because no-one’s going to do it.”
Really? Really? This from the
monster man who cheerfully agreed in February last year that church schools should have the right to expel students for no reason other than being ‘openly gay’.
In an interview on ABC News yesterday, a disingenuous Mr Wallace said:
“I’m not aware of any Christian organisation that has refused to hire anyone (based on their sexuality), and I’ve looked. I’m not aware of any school that has expelled anyone… for homosexuality. So, I think this is a beat-up in that it’s a problem that doesn’t exist.”
If the problem doesn’t exist, Mr Wallace – if religious institutions have no interest in discriminating against their fellow Australians – why did you lobby for them to maintain the right to do so? Have you any idea how badly this is playing with the general public? This is Australia, Mr Wallace, land of the ‘fair go’ – not land of the ‘one law for everyone – except religious institutions’. This is a secular democracy Mr Wallace – despite your burning ambition to turn it into your own personal theocracy.
And, might I ask, exactly where and how hard did you look for victims of religious bigotry?
As one of my Facebook contacts observed:
“By “looked”, perhaps Wallace means that he stood alone in a dark room and squinted, which is precisely how the ACL seems to do much of its strategising and policy development.”
Another hastened to clarify:
“No … the man’s eye’s were firmly closed and he placed a bag over his head just to make sure he couldn’t see.”
Well, Mr Wallace, the time has come to put your manhood where your mouth is. You reckon you’ve gone searching for victims of religious bigotry and have found none? Seems you’ve just been asking the wrong people.
Today, veteran gay rights campaigner, Rodney Croome, of the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, issued a media release stating that he would be happy to arrange a meeting between Mr Wallace and ‘some of the thousands of employees and students’ who, Croome says, have been discriminated against by religious organisations.
“I invite Mr Wallace to meet GLBTI employees who have been sacked from church welfare agencies and GLBTI students who have been expelled from church schools,” said Croome.
“I want him to look them in the eye and tell them why their contribution and their rights matter less than other people’s.”
Well, there you go, Mr Wallace. You say you’ve been looking for victims of religious discrimination and couldn’t find any. Mr Croome has kindly found what you were looking for. The question is, are you honest enough, man enough, Christian enough, to take Mr Croome up on his offer? Man up and accept the offer, Jim – or people will take you for a dick.
Oh, he has ‘no specific knowledge’ (my words) of any organisation’s refusal to employ anyone based on their sexuality. Now where have I heard this type of argument of late?
I’m pleased that this travesty has occurred. The natives are getting far more restless …
where have you heard it?
Read one of your older pieces on ACL and dominionism. That was breathtaking…to follow up reading this just makes me feakin’ angry. What is with this ex soldier/Christian ‘leader’? Sounds like he needs some professional counselling.
I work in a Catholic hospital. They’re perfectly happy to make money off the “sinners”, but not happy to have their right to discriminate taken away against those same sinners in their employ. I say let them discriminate and make them pay taxes. Then hopefully they’ll stop being in the money making, er I mean service provision business, and go back to where they belong – they’re increasingly emptier religious houses of worship.
Oops sorry I meant “their”
So you are happy to work there because you accept they have an alternate opinion to yours?
Because to resign because of that is the flip side to refusing to employ because you don’t fit that same belief system!
So, Simon, I take it you think it would be perfectly acceptable for atheist employers to refuse to employ Christians, Islamic employers to refuse to employ women who won’t cover their heads, for Jewish employers to insist that all employees are circumcised, and for Sikhs to refuse employment to any man who cuts his hair? If you want to allow Christians to discriminate according to their sensibilities then to be consistent you must allow that those of us who find Christians immoral, unethical and offensive should be able to exclude Christians.
Quite the reverse!!! You haven’t obviously clearly read what I written!
Just trying to be realistic, AND take the sanctimony out of the equation
Simon, this may never have occurred to you, but perhaps you don’t express yourself very clearly.
And Simon, if I do ban you as predicted it will not be because you disagree with me but because you are tedious, inarticulate or not too bright. You choose. And here’s a revelation, if you are bAnned from commenting here you lose nothing. It is clearly not equivalent to being forced out of a school or denied employment. It is flawed reasoning that will get you booted here, not what you may or may not do in bed – and I’d really rather not think about your solo activities.
No I express myself quite clearly, I suggest you are not comprehending very well when the sentence structure is not incredibly simple. But I accept you have an alternate opinion and will allow for it
Simon must be psychic – worn out his welcome in record time. 😉
I am astonished at your breathtaking sanctimonious hypocrisy!!!
It’s not alright in your view for a faith based group to discriminate against employing people if they choose if they don’t adhere to at times the particular faiths ideals, but you on this blog (your place of employment, be it paid or not) feel to right to discriminate (ie refuse to publish or ban) members or opinions that are contrary to your own beliefs!!!!
Discrimination works in many ways , religion that preach that abortion is wrong should have the right to refuse to employ people who openly contest that abortion is acceptable ( by way of example), just as so many politically correct left wing inner city university educated bmw driving Amalfi Coast holidaying lawyers should be able to refuse to maintain the employment of someone with the opposite belief.
You need to wake up.
I ‘ sure you’ll censor me, or blacklist me for this in days to come, and it will only prove me right.
Yes we get you think that gays, lesbians, transgender, fat people etc are all wonderful, but this is not about them ONLY.
it’s about a work place’s right to set its own moral code.Its own cultural fit, rightly or wrongly.
i specious argument about public money is patently ridiculous. It implies that private enterprise should be allowed to set it’s own rules regarding anything. Which you campaign against!!!
Simon, it’s not the same at all.
1. Censoring bigotry isn’t discrimination, it’s common sense and decency in action. The very things bigoted religious organisations lack.
2. This is a private blog i.e. not funded by taxpayer money so what the blogger does with the blog content (including comments) is the blogger’s business-you are unrealistic to expect to have a say in it.
3. Saying it’s wrong to censor trolls and dickheads on a blog is like saying trolls and dickheads should be allowed into people’s houses to talk shit. There is a difference between personal space and the public sphere. Just because something can be said doesn’t mean the general public should be forced to listen to it.
4. As a tax payer I have no wish to fund any sort of discrimination with my hard-earned money whereas as a blog commenter you haven’t contributed anything towards this blog at all so it is illogical to assume you should have any say in how content is curated.
5. Your line concerning ‘gays, lesbians, transgender, fat people’ not to mention ‘the university educated’ classes, reveals significant bias completely unsupported by relevant data.
Perhaps you should try to deal your own bigoted beliefs before calling out others-it’s what all of the religions mentioned above preach.
Simply stunning dismemberment of a vicious bigot and hypocrite! Love your work, as always.
Victims of clergy child sexual abuse are furious about this.
Seems the only persons permitted to be gay and to dress up in frocks are the priests, bishops, cardinals and popes.
The twisted immorality of their hate filled discrimination is bad enough by itself. But on top of that is the fact that the religious institutions are riddled with, and following the orders of, child rapists and child rape enablers.
How about ending their employment, and access to new victims, instead of protecting them, Mr Wallace?
“Victims of clergy child sexual abuse are furious about this.” I’ve seen nothing in the press to fully support this emotive notion. Can you direct to at least 3 articles that state this?
“Seems the only persons permitted to be gay and to dress up in frocks are the priests, bishops, cardinals and popes.” You forgot nuns, and people who work for GLT groups and SBS!
“The twisted immorality of their hate filled discrimination is bad enough by itself. But on top of that is the fact that the religious institutions are riddled with, and following the orders of, child rapists and child rape enablers.” I don’t necessarily see it as hate filled. although you seem to be just as hatefilled in return! An article in Dailylife today suggested that there is s high level of child sex abuse by new partners of single mothers . She we expect them to be celibate whilst receiving their benefits to help protect their children? I think you need to do some more research into facts! You will find that there are far more cases of child sex abuse in the home than in most churches, although any is wrong. That I agree!
How about ending their employment, and access to new victims, instead of protecting them, Mr Wallace? See above about single mothers!
Simon, child abusers in the home are not supported unconditionally by religious organisations with access to millions of dollars in assets. They are not systematically moved from parish to parish and knowingly provided access to more innocent victims. They are not represented by high profile lawers paid for by parishioner money. Child abusers in the home are not appointed and protected by the self-proclaimed ‘voice of God on this earth’. Child abusers in the home have a much higher probability of being successfully prosecuted and brought to justice by the law. The evidence says so. So yes, there is a difference.
I would suggest in future when faced by evidence of a horrific crime or injustice perpetrated against the innocent and defenceless that you not attempt to minimise said crime by pointing at all other occurrences of similar cases. Not only does this immature ‘tactic’ invite ridicule, it portrays you as inhumane and/ or incapable of empathy-both traits that all religions frown upon.
The comment about dressing up was an example of irony. See also hyperbole.
Despite all of your venting (which seems to me highly emotional and lacking in adult boundaries) you still haven’t provided any facts. This isn’t the Herald Sun; in the real world adults are expected to base their arguments on documented evidence.
Would you think it wrong for the Australian Jewish Museum to refuse to employ a highly skilled and infinitely suitable curator because he was known to be a highly vocal supporter or Hamas and anti-Zionist?
A good friend of mine was refused employment for this reason. You would now be prepared to campaign outside demanding he be employed?
I bet you wouldn’t!!
And by refusing to it would expose your hypocrisy.
Lets build a world where we don’t discriminate or blacklist for any reason ( including if we fervently disagree with their opinion), other than criminal.
Unless the worker was thought to represent a threat then it would be wrong to refuse him employment on those grounds.
Discrimination against employing people for their ideologies, when they do not impinge on their work, is flat out wrong.
If the employee on the other hand threatened other staff or clients or behaved in an openly hostile manner in the work place or was incompetent then that would be open to reasonable reaction.
I am becoming angrier by the minute with everything and everyone involved in this cozy deal. Where is that much used phrase “Un Australian” when you need it ? How can we sit by, as secular country, and just accept this ? …..And if Mr Wallace did Man Up I’d still think he was a dick.
God? Men acting for this God?? Ahhh yes, I’ve heard of such. Wouldn’t want any of them near my family (no matter what crap they swallow0
As i have said before Churches that protect pedophile priests who rape little boys want the right to discriminate against openly gay people.
It really defies any form of logic
Because I know you well, Doug, I understand your point. But for clarification, let’s point out that pedophile priests who rape little boys are NOT gay – they are pedophiles, or, perhaps more accurately, hebephiles. Homosexuality – and I know you agree with this absolutely – has absolutely nothing to do with child abuse. Nothing.
Thanks Chrys. I get so angry whe people equate homosexuality with pedophilia. I am not gay but I do support gay rights. Pedophiles are sick and should be prevented from practicing their pedophilia.
Just to be clear, Doug didn’t equate the two, but I wanted to hammer home the point.
I always believed in the separation of church and state. Alas I see the church married to the State wow a regression into the Medieval State. No equal rights for all citizen. The promotion of discrimination against fellow citizen who seem to be different in the eyes of the church. The promotion of second class citizen in the eyes of th law & church. At long last the Medieval Age is taking root in this country. It looks like religion that does nothing but causes disension has come to Australia to spread its destructivness and divisivness. What weak mob our spineless politicians are. God help Australia it sure deserves better.
“Man up and accept the offer, Jim – or people will take you for a dick.”
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This 2012 case where a Qld teacher was legally sacked because she became pregnant while unmarried, shows why these blanket exemptions are wrong http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/teacher-sacked-over-pregnancy-20120501-1xw79.html
I also say this allows sexism to thrive – how many good “Christian” men are committing adultery and this remains unseen? – yet if the woman becomes pregnant (which she can’t hide), she gets fired. Talk about double standards … again.
Interesting that under this legislation, our PM can legally be fired if she were a cleaner at the Wheat Bix factory (as it is owned by Seventh Day Adventist church)., because she is an Atheist and “Living in Sin”
Sanitarium probably wouldn’t have hired her in the first place.
Their job adverts require that applicants be “aligned with our Christian based principles”.
I don’t buy any of their products because it doesn’t align with my principles.
I would like to invite all you opponents of our “soft theocracy” to check out the Secular Party of Australia’s website. Might be just the party for you. We’ll be looking for as high a profile and as many candidates as possible at the next fed. election.
Umm Mr Wallace forgot the Caloundra teacher who was sacked for being pregnant out of Wedlock in Caloundra? http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/unmarried-pregnant-and-sacked/1363649/ Poor bugger was actually a member of the church too 😦
Please use GetUp! to contact Nicola Roxon and your local political representative about this matter. And please spread GetUp’s link among your own networks. http://tinyurl.com/GetUp-Exemptions
As usual Chrys you state the case clearly.
It concerns me that if a (so called) ‘progressive’ political party can start the ball rolling in active discrimination, then where to from here?
Our ‘secular’ nation needs protecting from any inroads of any form of ‘special deals’ between politician and the Religious.
(Time perhaps for churches et al to pay their dues/taxes)
(Oh have signed Getup’s petition to the Attorney General.)
Go for it tiger Glen ________________________________________
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