Sunday 12th of July 2020

discrimination explained...

discrimination 01

when the great leak was great...

great leak





all-purpose discrimination...

all-purpose discrimination


reject this bill like the greasy salmon...

The second draft religious discrimination bill will have wide-ranging effects on many areas of public life including access to medical services, schooling, employment, social media, aged care, hospitals and even some commercial services.

As well as an explainer about the bill’s provisions, we have collected examples from the government’s explanatory memorandum (EM) and stakeholders about what people would be allowed to say or do if the bill passes.

Statements of religious belief

Protection received: statements of religious belief will not be found to breach other federal, state and territory discrimination laws.


  • A Christian may say that unrepentant sinners will go to hell, an example cited in the EM which mirrors the facts of Israel Folau’s case

  • A doctor may tell a transgender patient of their religious belief that God made men and women in his image and that gender is therefore binary (EM)

  • A single mother who, when dropping her child off at daycare, may be told by a worker that she is sinful for denying her child a father (Public Interest Advocacy Centre)

  • A woman may be told by a manager that women should submit to their husbands or that women should not be employed outside the home (PIAC)

  • A student with disability may be told by a teacher their disability is a trial imposed by God (PIAC)

  • A person of a minority faith may be told by a retail assistant from another religion that they are a “heathen destined for eternal damnation” (PIAC).

Caveats – statements must be made in good faith; not be malicious or harass, vilify or incite hatred against a person or group; not advocate for the commission of a serious criminal offence.

Religious activity

Protection received: discrimination against a person on the basis of religious activity is unlawful.

Example: public evangelising/street-preaching – even where this is in contravention of council bylaws (EM, Just Equal).

Medical services

Protection received: unless it is against the law to refuse treatment, health practitioners are allowed to conscientiously object to providing a health service and no professional rules can override that right.


  • A Catholic doctor refusing to provide contraception to all patients (EM) or to prescribe hormone treatment for gender transition (Equality Australia, Just Equal, LGBTI Health Alliance)

  • A Catholic nurse who refused to participate in abortion procedures (EM) or to provide the morning-after pill to a woman admitted to hospital after a sexual assault (Equality Australia)

  • A pharmacist refusing to provide the pill to women for contraceptive use (EM), or hormone treatment (Public Interest Advocacy Centre, LGBTI Health Alliance)

  • A doctor could refuse to prescribe post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) within the required 72-hour window to a patient whose condom broke during a sexual encounter on the basis of religious beliefs that forbid sexual activity outside of marriage (Equality Australia)

  • A psychiatrist could say to a woman with depression that “she should be looking forward to the kingdom of heaven”. Under the proposed laws, the psychiatrist could challenge their deregistration as religious discrimination, while the patient could have her disability discrimination complaint refused (Equality Australia)

  • A law passed by a state parliament that banned the promotion of programs that seek to “convert” LGBTIQ people could be overridden by the federal attorney general as an infringement on “statements of belief” (Just Equal).


Although the primary aim of the bill is to prohibit religious discrimination there are a range of exemptions that will allow religious discrimination to continue:

  • Religious hospitals, aged care providers or accommodation providers such as retirement villages may discriminate against their staff on the basis of religion both in terms of hiring and to set codes of conduct requiring them to act in accordance with that faith

  • A religiously affiliated business may require senior leaders to hold or engage in a particular religious belief or activity where that is an inherent requirement of those positions (EM)

  • An Anglican public benevolent institution could require its employees, including volunteer workers, to uphold and act consistently with Anglican doctrines and teachings at work (EM)

  • Domestic duties – a person hiring a live-in nanny or in-home carer services may require that they be of the same religious belief or activity as that person (EM)

  • An employer can ask a prospective employee whether they observe any holy days during which they can’t work to determine if they can fulfil the inherent requirements of the work (EM).

Social media
  • An office worker could declare on social media that a fellow employee is in a wheelchair because they are sinful and urge them to attend a faith healer. The workplace inclusion policy would be overridden by such a “statement of belief” and any action taken against the offender could be appealed to the Human Rights Commission as “religious discrimination” (Just Equal).

  • A Jewish school may require that its staff and students be Jewish and accordingly refuse to hire or admit someone because they were not Jewish (EM)

  • A student attends the same religious school through their primary and secondary education. At 16 they lose faith in the religion of the school and tell a teacher that they are now agnostic. The school would be able to expel, suspend or otherwise punish, for example, give detention to the student (PIAC).

Accommodation, camps and conference sites

Rule: religious camps and conference sites may discriminate against another person on the ground of religious belief or activity in the provision of accommodation.

This is an exemption lobbied for by the Sydney Anglican church with reference to this example: Anglican Youthworks should be able to reject an application for the First Church of Satan to hold a black mass at one of its campsites.

There is also an exception for the provision of accommodation so that a homeowner seeking a tenant for their spare room may require that the tenant be of the same religious belief or activity as the homeowner (EM).



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making it more colourful...

from now on we will link only...

Cartoonist Gary Larson has launched the first official home of his The Far Side comic strip, with the website promising new work will come "from the man himself" in 2020.

Key points:
  • Gary Larson said he hoped the website would stop people uploading his content without permission
  • He cited advancements in graphics and security concerns as why he hadn't put the comic online previously
  • The last The Far Side cartoon was published on January 1, 1995


The website offers random and themed collections of the offbeat, humorous, single-panel cartoons, as well as unreleased material from Larson's personal sketchbooks.

In a letter published on the website, the American cartoonist said he was hopeful the site would halt fans and advertisers uploading his content without his permission.

a drawing of a man with his tongue curled up and glasses writing in a pad with still alive written on his shirtPHOTO: Gary Larson wrote a letter to fans explaining why he was now launching an official website. ( Gary Larson)


"…years ago, when I slowly started realising I had a second publisher and distributor of my work, known as Anyone With a Scanner and Associates, I did find it unsettling enough to write an open letter to whom it may concern, explaining — best as I could — why I preferred that the people doing this would kindly refrain," he wrote.

"So I'm hopeful this official website will help temper the impulses of the infringement-inclined. 

"Please, whoever you are, taketh down my cartoons and let this website become your place to stop by for a smile, a laugh, or a good ol' fashioned recoiling. And I won't have to release the Krakencow."


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what religious discrimination should look like: zero.

zero discrimination