NSW

When will the "Equality" bill be voted on?

At this point in time, the “Equality” bill is scheduled to be voted on March 14.

The NSW “Equality” Bill was introduced by Alex Greenwich, the independent member for Sydney, on August 29, 2023. At the time the bill was “cognate” with Mr Greenwich’s “Conversion Therapy” bill, which means that they were to be debated and voted on together. 

When the Government decided to write their own “Conversion Therapy” legislation, the package of bills was not broght to a vote, and both bills were scheduled to expire at the end of 2023.

At 1:30am on the second last day of Parliament in 2023, Mr Greenwich moved a procedural motion, which was passed by the Parliament, that gave a new life to the “Equality” bill.

The motion text was:

that Standing and Sessional Orders be suspended to:

    • permit the separation of the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill from the Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill and to no longer consider these bills cognate.
    • extend the lapsing date for the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill until 15 March 2024.
    • amend the routine of business for Thursday 8 February 2024 and, if required, for Thursday 14 March 2024 so that debate on the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill is given precedence at that time for considering general business orders of the day for bills.
    • provide that, if not yet completed, all remaining questions for each remaining stage of the Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill to be moved without further debate at the conclusion of the time allowed in the routine of business for general business orders of the day for bills on Thursday 14 March 2024.

In short, this motion:

  • separated the “Equality” and “Conversion Therapy” bills
  • extended the “Equality” bill so that it did not expire at the end of the year, but was valid until March 15
  • prioritised a debate on February 8, and March 14 (ahead of any other Private Members’ bills that were due to be debated)
  • ensured a vote on March 14 regardless of whether there had been any debate

This was extraordinary level of priority given to a bill that had been neglected during 2023. This sudden prioritisation suggested that the Government were willing to let the bill pass (either as a whole or amended), which cause significant concern in the faith community.

In response, we have been calling on people to contact their MP over January.

On February 7, 2024, the Government changed the schedule for February 8 so that  “Equality” bill did not feature on the schedule. This effectively posponed the debate unti March 14, but has not changed the guaranteed vote for March 14.

We still need you to contact your MP. 

The Government have not announced their position on the bill, so it might be passed, either in full or amended. This would be a disaster for NSW. Call, write or meet with your MP and tell them to reject this bill in full.

The time to speak up is NOW!

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Call

Meet

Contact Your MP is an initiative of Freedom for Faith.