The Andrews government supports most of the recommendations from a Parliamentary Commitee inquiry into Victoria's Anti-Vilification Bill.
This is extremely concerning for people of faith. For example...
The Committee recommended that sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, and sex characteristics and/or intersex status to be included as protected attributes.
This implies that people of faith or anyone in the community who does not adhere to LGBT ideology or gender theory will be restricted from expressing their opinions both verbally and online.
The Committee recommended that the definition of vilification and incitement be widened from ‘conduct that incites’ to ‘conduct that is likely to incite’.
Anyone who wants to express or teach conservative sexual ethics will be at risk of vilification. Words and posts will be open for interpretation. If they’re taken as offensive, anyone could be reported to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. This could be weaponised by LGBT activists to target Christians.
The Committee recommended to narrow the definition of religious purpose under Section 11(2) of the original Act to ensure “genuine” religious activities are carried out with good faith and for the public interest.
This implies some religious activities, e.g. teaching and proselytising, that are currently exempted from being vilification, could be considered unlawful. Common religious activities could be banned in public and religion restricted to private places of worship.
This Committee report creates many opportunities for LGBT and anti-religious activists to harass and silence churches, organisations and individuals they don’t agree with.
The secular Institute of Public Affairs warns about the danger of the recommendations, saying,
“This is not only the most anti-free speech law ever proposed since section 18C, it will be many times worse… The recommendations give the government unlimited and arbitrary power to censor mainstream opinions.”
Any speech could potentially become unlawful as complaints are assessed based on allegations of "harm."
In view of the serious implications of these recommendations, please take action before they are drafted into a bill.
Take action today
Using the form below, please write a message to your leaders to ask them to protect your freedom of speech. Some wording has been provided for you, but feel free to adjust it as you see fit. Be concise and respectful.
The salutation at the start and your name at the end will both be appended automatically. Please don't add these to the letter below, e.g. please do not address the email “Dear Premier.”
When you complete your name and address in the box below, your letter will be directed to the Premier, Deputy Premier, Attorney General, Minister for Multi-Cultural Affairs, and your local MPs.
Thank you for defending your freedom of speech!