Hundreds of protesters have marched at Sydney’s Town Hall, calling for the NSW government to “kill” new religious discrimination laws.
The rally comes after the New South Wales parliament passed an amendment to the Anti-Discrimination Act this week, making it illegal to vilify people or organisations due to their religious beliefs.
Opponents to the legislative change say it will entrench discrimination against LGBTQI+ people.
Advocacy group Community Action for Rainbow Rights, who organised the march, is calling on the government to abolish the changes, saying it is a “significant concession” to conservatives.
“The idea that religious people in general, and Christians in particular, are experiencing a wave of intolerance is laughable,” The group said.
“We need to call out Labor’s bulls–t around religious discrimination and hit the streets to push back against the Christian right’s agenda.”
Protests held signs with slogans including “kill the bill” and “support trans rights” as they gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall on Saturday afternoon and marched down Pitt St.
Ahead of the bill’s passage, NSW Multiculturalism Minister Steve Kamper said the legislation was “much needed,” to ensure the protection of diverse and multicultural communities.
“The unfortunate reality is that certain forms of religious vilification are on the rise. No matter your personal beliefs, this is unacceptable,” he said.
“Members of the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths have all raised concerns about the growing levels of intolerance towards members of their communities.”