- You can read the open letter here: https://resources.mariestopes.org.au/OpenLetter.pdf
- And you can endorse it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/openletter
Centacare, July 2020
The Centacare Rainbow Quality Team would like to provide you with a list of affirming religious communities (please see attachment via link below) that may be helpful for some people from the LGBTIQA+ community that you work with.
Spiritual wellbeing is a human right, but unfortunately people within the Rainbow community who hold particular Christian faiths are not always awarded this human right within their own faith denominations. In response to this need, the Centacare Rainbow Quality Team have worked on identifying religious communities within South Australia who are not just welcoming of people from the LGBTIQA+ community, but are affirming of them.
They have contacted individually the communities listed and have secured permission from them to be added to the list. They have also identified individuals within each community that can be used as an entry point for people who wish to connect with these affirming communities.
The Team acknowledge that this is not an exhaustive list of affirming communities, and there may be others that they do not know of. If you have additional contacts that you feel would be beneficial for this list, please let them know. Also, if you have someone in need whom does not have a denomination listed, please let them know and they will endeavour to source a suitable community if available. At this stage they have only identified Christian faith communities, but they do recognise that spiritual need extends well beyond this faith. However, to date the contacts on this list is all that they have been able to identify, and they will continue to source affirming communities from other faith traditions. They can be contacted via the www.centacare.org.au/contact website for any feedback or additional information.
Whilst the Team have gone to significant lengths to ensure the groundwork has been done to create a warm and welcoming entry into these affirming communities, they would also like to point out that they have no formal links with these communities and therefore cannot guarantee that all people will receive the support that they are looking for. They also cannot offer support to maintain connection within these communities.
It is envisaged that this list will act as a guide for those seeking a supportive and affirming connection with a religious community that aligns with their spiritual beliefs and needs. The Centacare Rainbow Quality Team hope this list will assist you to support those with this particular need.
1800RESPECT, March 2020
The Disability Support Toolkit has resources for front line workers supporting people with disability who have been impacted by violence and abuse.
People with disability are 1.8 times more likely to experience violence and abuse, including more varied forms of abuse. (Source: AIHW Report 2019.) They are also less likely, and take longer to reach out for support.
This Toolkit includes:
This Toolkit can be used in conjunction with information provided on our website on Inclusive Practice: Supporting people with disability.
The ‘Putting it into Practice’ guidelines are a resource to support access and inclusion. The guidelines provide information on:
This set of 3 videos were co-developed by Scope and 1800RESPECT. They are designed to be viewed by people with disability, and include information on how to contact 1800RESPECT, and how the service works.
The Easy English booklets have been developed as part of the Disability Pathways Project and with Women with Disabilities Australia. They are evidence based, user group tested and easy to use.
Sunny is 1800RESPECT’s app for women with disability who have experienced violence and abuse. Sunny has been co-designed with women with disability to make sure it provides the very best support for the people who use it. Learn more about Sunny. Sunny is free to download and is free to use on your phone.
by Sada Mire, The Guardian, Mon 9 Mar 2020 19.00 AEDT
February 27th, 2020
We the undersigned represent a range of researchers, community service organisations and advocacy groups that support communities throughout South Australia. We are united in our concerns about the draft Religious Discrimination Bill and its potential to cause harm to the communities we serve.
We respect the diversity of Australia and celebrate the multitude of beliefs, identities and cultures that co-exist within our society. We likewise celebrate the various faiths throughout Australia and value the ability for such diverse communities to exist media rpeacefully with one another.
While we respect the Government’s intent to craft a Religious Discrimination Bill that will protect religious Australians from being discriminated against, we are deeply concerned that the current Bill goes too far. Anti-discrimination legislation should protect people from being discriminated against, but this Bill will allow religious Australians, and religious organisations, to discriminate against people who are different from them.
All Australians should be protected equally by the law, regardless of who they are or what they believe. It is for this reason that we call on the Government to reconsider this Bill to ensure that any legislation that is passed protects all of us from discrimination rather than handing some Australians a license to discriminate against others.
For the sake of Australia’s harmonious diversity, we ask all Federal politicians to stand with us in finding a better way forward.
• Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch)
• Child and Family Focus SA
• COTA SA
• Justice for Refugees SA
• Public Law and Policy Research Unit
• SA Lived Experience Leadership & Advocacy Network (LELAN)
• SA Unions
• SHINE SA
• SOS Copper Coast Suicide Prevention Network
• South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS)
• South Australian Network of Drug & Alcohol Services (SANDAS)
• South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance (SARAA)
• St John’s Youth Services
• Youth Affairs Council of South Australia (YACSA)
“SARAA believes in an Australia free from discrimination, but the Religious Discrimination Bill won’t accomplish this. The law should protect people from discrimination, not give a right to discriminate. LGBTIQ South Australians have been clear that they don’t support the current Bill and SARAA is pleased to see so many other organisations taking a stand against it, too. We know this Bill will harm many sections of Australian society and we hope the government will listen to our concerns to find a better way forward.”
– Matthew Morris, Chair, South Australian Rainbow Advocacy Alliance
“Fourteen community organisations and research groups have come together through the Rights Resource Network SA to raise their voice about the impact of the draft Religious Discrimination Bill on the lives of South Australians. We have our own system of equal opportunity laws in this state that businesses, community organisations and individuals comply with and rely upon. They are not perfect, but they don’t deserve to be overridden by proposed federal laws that will elevate the rights of some over the rights of others. Rather than go ahead with this legally complex and divisive proposal, these thirteen diverse organisations urge the Federal Government start again when it comes to designing legal protections against religious discrimination. We urge South Australian federal and state Members of Parliament to listen to the concerns of their constituents when it comes to responding to this draft Bill.”
– Dr Sarah Moulds, Co-Founder, Rights Resource Network SA and Senior Lecturer in Law the University of South Australia
“There are already a range of existing federal and state laws specifically designed to eliminate discrimination – particularly when it comes to employment. This legislation will create enormous uncertainty about the operation of these laws and will also introduce a considerable compliance burden for all businesses including community sector organisations. SACOSS believes it would be preferable to address any concerns about securing “religious freedoms” using the same framework established in existing discrimination laws. If not, then one of the best ways we to protect crucial human rights and freedoms would be through the development of a national Bill/Charter of Rights. It is absolutely imperative this proposed Bill is either voted down or properly amended to ensure key issues are addressed so that harmonious and co-operative Australian workplaces are not compromised and that all Australians have their rights enabled.”
– Ross Womersley, CEO of the South Australian Council of Social Service
“The Religious Discrimination Bill does nothing to improve protections against discrimination on the grounds of religion. In fact, it makes the situation worse for tens of thousands of South Australian workers in religious aged care facilities, hospitals, accommodation providers, educational bodies, and charitable institutions. Not only are those workers expressly excluded from the Bill’s protection, but discrimination against them based on their personal religious belief or activity is specifically permitted and encouraged by the Bill. In addition, all workers in the public sector are completely excluded from protections. The Bill will create a risk of increased confusion, conflict, uncertainty and harm in Australian workplaces and should not be passed in its current form.”
– Angas Story, Secretary SA Unions
Sydney Morning Herald, February 23, 2020
Four out of five LGBTQ+ people say they feel worse now than they did after the “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, describing the debate over religious discrimination as “Marriage Equality 2.0” because it is amplifying negative voices.
The findings are from the Make Love Louder report by Macquarie University researcher Shirleene Robinson.
It found three out of four LGBTQ+ Australians have personally experienced negativity or discrimination on the basis of their sexual or gender identity and one in four experience it on a daily basis. For transgender Australians, four out of five have experienced it, two out of five on a daily basis.
The research suggests 63 per cent of Australians support the LGBTQ+ community, but three out of four of these, dubbed allies, are “silent supporters”. Dr Robinson said it was important for allies to be vocal to “make love louder than hate”.
Meanwhile, separate research by mental health charity Headspace found most LGBTQ+ young people experience high or very high psychological distress.