Victoria prides itself on being a progressive state but the Equal Opportunity Act doesn't do enough to protect LGBTI people from discrimination

A number of changes are being proposed that will strengthen the laws to protect same-sex attracted and gender diverse Victorians.

Labor is proposing a bill that would bring back anti-discrimination protections that were taken away by the Liberal Party.

The Greens are proposing an amendment that will improve the laws even further.

Tell your state MPs you back these changes and you believe there should be equality in Victoria law.

    Dear Members of the Victorian Parliament,

    Victorian law allows employees to be fired and students expelled just because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex. This creates a climate of fear, secrecy and lack of support.

    Please help remove the blanket exemptions that allow religious schools and organisations to discriminate on the basis of sexuality and gender identity.

    Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory provide better protections for LGBTI employees and students in their Anti-Discrimination Acts. In those states and territories religious schools and organisations continue to operate freely and effectively, and have not indicated that the law is onerous.

    Please support Labor’s Bill and the Greens’ amendments that will protect LGBTI employees, as well as the Greens’ Bill to specifically protect LGBTI school students.

    The Victorian Government says equality is non-negotiable. Let’s put that into practise.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Extra points for your letter

    You can include the following points in your letter. Also include your own personal story if you have worked at a religious school or organisation:

    • Religious organisations that receive taxpayer funding should abide by basic and widely accepted anti-discrimination laws.

    • I’m religious and I believe no employer or school should have the right to discriminate against people on the basis of who they are.

    • The current exemptions imply that religious people and organisations are inherently discriminatory by nature, when in fact many religious people and organisations are inclusive and welcoming of the LGBTI community. Don’t reinforce these harmful stereotypes in our Equal Opportunity Act.

    • Religious organisations can still choose to hire people on the basis of religious belief or activity, however specifying a person’s sexuality, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy status or lawful sexual activity, or excluding them for these reasons, is inherently discriminatory and goes too far.

    • Victorians should not be forced to choose between their faith and their sexuality or gender identity when accessing services or searching for a job.

    • Many other states and territories, including Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory, do not allow for discrimination by religious organisations on the basis of sexuality or gender identity, so why should Victoria?