Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten says that he “cannot stand silent” when religion is used to discriminate against GLBT people.
In a speech delivered to the Australian Christian Lobby national conference in Canberra, Bill Shorten has come out swinging against religious belief being used as a means to justify discrimination against GLBT Australians.
“Condemning anyone, discriminating against anyone, vilifying anyone is a violation of the values that we all share,” Shorten said in a impassioned speech which most likely would not have impressed the audience.
The speech follows what has been months of criticism of Shorten’s attendance. However Shorten made it very clear that he stood in favour of full equality of GLBT Australians.
“Condemning anyone, discriminating against anyone, vilifying anyone is a violation of the values that we all share,” he says.
“A violation that can never be justified by anyone’s faith or belief.
“Not yours, not mine. Not anyone’s.”
Shorten spoke extensively about how his personal faith values of equality and inclusion had guided him in life and in politics, but conceded that the speech may not be we’ll received among ACL conference delegates. “I know some of my policy ideas will not win acceptance with the Australian Christian Lobby,” he says.
“But the great thing about this country is that we can meet like this, share our ideas and visions respectfully and boldly, assured that the tenets of our shared faiths and philosophical world views can help us shape a free and confident nation in which the dignity of all persons is enhanced by laws and policies determined after mature political deliberation.”
Bill Shorten voted in favour of marriage equality in 2012 in a bill which was ultimately defeated.
Article | Levi Joule