Senate Committee recommends removal of religious exemptions in amended Sex Discrimination Act

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has recommended the removal of some proposed exemptions given to religious organisations under the current  Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013 which would allow religious organisations providing public services to discriminate against LGBTI people on religious grounds.

AHRCentre director of the Centre's Health, Sexual Orientation and Human Rights Project, Jed Horner and the News South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby have welcomed the report and its recommendations. 

“Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex community have waited decades for the protections from discrimination which would be afforded by this Bill, provided it is passed in the final sitting fortnight of this Parliament,” said Jed Horner.

“In particular, we welcome the Committee’s majority recommendation that the Bill be passed, together with an amendment to remove exceptions for religious organisations in the provision of Commonwealth funded aged-care services. A removal of exceptions in this area would ensure that elderly LGBTI people are able to age with dignity, without the fear of legally sanctioned discrimination, and without feeling pressure to return to the 'closet' in aged care facilities. This is particularly important given the legacy of discrimination experienced by older members of the LGBTI community.”

Read the original article from SX here.


Photo: Saints Sergius and Bacchus. 7th Century icon. Officers of the Roman Army in Syria who were tortured to death for their refusal to worship Roman gods. Bacchus is thought to have died from severe torture while Sergius survived the initial torture to be beheaded. They are the protectors of the Byzantine Army with a feast day of October 7th. Yale historian John Boswell considers the saints to be an example of an early Christian same-sex union reflective of tolerant early Christians attitudes toward homosexuality based on this icon depecting what some claim is a religious wedding with Jesus as best man and still surviving writings.

This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art.