You might have already read about the teacher who, after deciding to have a child, was fired by the school she taught at just because she wasn’t married. She’s not alone. If you or someone you care about is a single parent, gay, divorced, transexual or have ever been accused of a crime then you could find yourself being discriminated against with no legal right to fight back.
We can stop this and ensure all Australians receive the protections they deserve.
Right now a bill to protect all Australians from discrimination is in draft form under review by the Government. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has the power to make the changes necessary to ensure it protects all Australians regardless of race, sex, age, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Will you take a minute to read about the important changes that need to happen and then ask Nicola Roxon to strengthen the bill?
These laws are important because they will affect you and every person you know. The proposed legislation is well worth getting over the line – for the first time in Commonwealth law there will be legal protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The majority of the human rights and legal community agree that this piece of legislation is a vast improvement on the previous set of laws and offers broader human rights protections for vulnerable Australians.
BUT, we can’t just ignore the glaring areas that still need work, including the exemption for religious groups to discriminate despite receiving Government funding to provide services. If we don’t use this once in a generation opportunity to ensure that every Australian can make a contribution and have the opportunities that they deserve we may not have the chance again for a very long time.
Nicola Roxon needs to know that while the improvements they have made to the bill are good, there are areas that still need strengthening. Will you write to Nicola Roxon, and ask her to ensure the proposed anti-discrimination legislation protects all Australians?
Creating the kind of strong, healthy and cohesive communities we all want to live in requires that we continue to push for better human rights. If we don’t do everything we can right now to strengthen and pass this bill before the Federal election, it is in real danger of never making it over the line. The opposition has already promised to gut these important protections if they get elected. Let’s get it right and fight for something we can be proud of.
Thanks for standing up for human rights,
The GetUp team.
PS – This is not an easy issue to get your head around and recent media coverage – heavily influenced by a concerted lobbying effort by the conservative media, some vocal religious groups and the opposition – is making a complex subject even more convoluted. We’ve tried to fix that. Over the past two weeks we’ve spoken with leading human rights advocates, policy makers and legal experts in order to understand exactly what’s on the table and how it differs from what already exists. We’ve prepared an FAQ and a position paper that dispels the misinformation being put out there and clarifies what needs to happen to achieve the best possible outcome for human rights. Click here to learn more: http://www.getup.org.au/learn-more
 Teacher sacked over pregnancy, Brisbane Times, 1 May 2012.