Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission supports equality
Published on 22/09/2017
Access the marriage equality message from the Commissioner on YouTube. Run time is 2.54 minutes.
Equality and freedom from discrimination
Everyone has the right to be equal before the law. No one should be subjected to unfair discrimination.
The Anti-Discrimination Commission in promoting human rights in Queensland affirms the rights of all people in our community, including those who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI), to equality and freedom from discrimination.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and everyone has the right to practice their religion.
The human rights of LGBTI people in our community exist alongside the right to freedom of religion.
Protecting all human rights in our society is important, and all rights must be exercised in a way that respects the rights of others.
The Commission supports the passing of a law to allow same sex couples to express their love and commitment to each other through marriage. Achieving marriage equality for LGBTI people goes towards fulfilling their human rights to equality and freedom from discrimination.
Religious organisations should be free to solemnise marriages in accordance with their doctrines, tenets or beliefs. The legal definition of civil marriage can be amended, while maintaining existing religious freedom protections.
Freedom of speech, opinion and expression
Freedom of speech, opinion and expression is a human right. However, vilifying a person because they identify as being LGBTI, or on the basis of their religion, is against the law in Queensland.
The same-sex marriage debate is capable of generating hurtful and potentially harmful material. An uncivil debate attacking LGBTI people risks harming members of the LGBTI community, affecting people’s feelings of confidence and inclusion in our society. Those at particular risk are young LGBTI people, especially young LGBTI people in regional areas, who face a significantly higher risk of suicide than their heterosexual peers.
Attacks on people who oppose marriage equality, for example on the basis of their religious beliefs, are equally unacceptable.
We urge all those involved in the debate to speak and act respectfully and to be conscious of the impact of their words and actions.
We ask all Queenslanders to work towards a community that is fair, inclusive and respectful of all, especially during the period of the marriage equality debate.
Kevin Cocks AM