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.