Phillip Ruddock, who was part of implementing Howard's 2004 reform of the marriage act to exclude LGBT people, has been assigned by Turnbull to conduct a review of "religious freedom" in Australia. Cripes knows WTF he's going to come up with at the end of it, but you can bet that the recommendations won't be good for us LGBT. There's not even LGBT representation in those taking part in it.
To me it just seems like another opportunity for the far right of the gov to resurrect their failed religious exemptions that they tried to get through with the marriage equality legislation. This is looming as the next big struggle for us against the likes of Abbott and Shelton. A struggle where we fight to keep discrimination laws that protect us being attacked and unraveled by christian RWNJ's, who after oppressing us for centuries now claim themselves to be persecuted just by our existing equally on the same planet as them.
Yes it's great that we now have marriage equality (well with some compromise's) and David and I are planning on a simple marriage next year. But we shouldn't make the same mistake as many LGBT in the US made. They just about went to sleep over there thinking that now marriage was won it was all over. Many didn't suspect or expect the viscous reaction from the extremist far right christians who challenged their equality and civil rights in various states over and over. And the RWNJ's have had successes. This all under the guise of "religious freedom", or to put it another way, wanting to be able to discriminate against gays on the basis of their religion.
To give an example yet another group has opened up over there called Christian Civil Rights Watch, which has set itself up in a major assault on the LGBT. Their extremism is thus:
“Gay pride” necessitates anti-Christian hate. It must. “Gay marriage” and other “sexual orientation”-based laws do violence to freedom and truth. They are the hammer with which the postmodern left intends to bludgeon bloody religious liberty and the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic. The liberal viewpoint is that any viewpoint, save the liberal viewpoint, must be criminalized and prosecuted.Sound familiar? The RWNJ's in Australia may not say that in so many words, but given the amount of opposition and angst to gay marriage here it's likely they're censoring themselves when speaking about it. Although we have had some shocking comments from various numbers of them in the recent years leading up to equality. Remember Abbott has spoken twice at the US hate group "Alliance defending freedom". Opposition to marriage equality has always been about homophobia and misinterpreting the bible. At least this US group is open about it, saying they're against us because the bible. In Australia they're rather more subtle, but it's the same thing really. A struggle between religion and secularism, pure and simple. The nutters don't seem to realise that Australia is a secular democracy, not a theocracy.
According to the unequivocal moral precepts of the Judeo-Christian tradition – explicit throughout both the Old and New Testaments – homosexual behavior is sin. Sin is evil. Homosexual behavior is the central, defining characteristic of so-called “gay marriage.” Therefore, “gay marriage” is evil. Christians are obligated to avoid sin – to “do no evil.”
It’s not popular to speak such simple truths in today’s politically correct world. But at CCRW, we’re not out to win a popularity contest.
To homosexuals we say this: Yes, you are equal in God’s eyes. You are loved. These things are true, not because of your homosexual lifestyle, but, rather, they are true in spite of it.
Most homosexuals know intuitively, we believe, that their lifestyle is unnatural and immoral and that the oxymoronic notion of “same-sex marriage” is a puerile farce. Thus, they must force others to affirm both their self-destructive lifestyle and their mock “marriages” under penalty of law. They must physically compel everyone to engage their “emperor’s new clothes” delusion, so they can feel better about bad behavior.Christian Civil Rights Watch
Religion in Australia already has a raft of "protections". A church or religious organisation can legally fire people because they're gay, or not hire them in the first place. That's today in Australia. What more religious privilege do they want? This from Australia:
We must not overlook the fact that the reforms introduced last week are already under serious threat, as a result of the Review into ‘Religious Freedoms’ announced by Malcolm Turnbull on 22 November.As a final note, these are the organisations being targeted by the US Christian Civil Rights Watch. You will notice a certain theme going through them:
Former Liberal MP Philip Ruddock – the Attorney-General who oversaw the introduction of the ban on marriage equality in August 2004 – will spend the first three months of 2018 examining how Australian law can ‘better protect’ religious freedoms.
As we all know, increases in special privileges for religious individuals and organisations almost inevitably come at the expense of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians (as well as other groups, including women).
Despite this, the panel for the Ruddock Review does not include any representatives from the LGBTI community (with Ruddock joined by the head of the Australian Human Rights Commission Rosalind Croucher, retired judge Annabelle Bennett and Jesuit priest Frank Brennan).
So, by all means spend the remainder of December celebrating our recent success. Because when 2018 starts we must stand ready to defend those gains, as well as protecting a wide range of other existing LGBTI rights, which will likely come under sustained attack. Alistair Lawrie