Bleats

What Vile Things The Government Will Let You Say Under The Religious Discrimination Bill

Literally a license to discriminate.

In between dodging responsibility regarding the Australian bushfires and whatever busy tasks he has on his schedule that led to him taking an early holiday while the country literally burns, our PM Scott Morrison has found the time to craft a second draft of his controversial religious discrimination bill.

After revising some horrendously offensive bits that resulted in waves of criticism from human rights, LGBTQIA+ and religious groups, the new version of the religious discrimination bill… isn’t that much better actually.

This proposed bill, should it be entrenched into law, is essentially a legal permission slip to discriminate against others. It’s literally making it okay to use the excuse “I can say this crap because I believe in it!”

Here are just some of the horrendously abhorrent things you can say and do under Scott Morrison’s ridiculous religious discrimination bill – grouped in categories because that’s how crazy it is – and get away with it legally (via the government’s released explanatory notes and The Guardian):

Employment

  • Religiously-affiliated businesses may force senior leaders to follow a particular religious belief or activity if those are requirements of the position.
  • Employers can ask potential employees what days they can’t work due to holy days or religious beliefs in order to determine whether they fulfill the requirements of the job they’re applying for.
  • You can go on social media and post about how a colleague at work is in a wheelchair because it’s a punishment from God for their sins. Yeah.

Medical services

  • Doctors can tell transgender patients they believe men and women are created in God’s image, and thus gender is binary. They’ll still have to carry on treatment as usual but they’ll be legally allowed to say this.
  • Certain doctors and medical professionals can refuse to provide services like contraception or hormone treatment for gender transition if it goes against their religious beliefs.
  • Psychiatrists can say to female patients suffering from depression that “she should be looking forward to the kingdom of heaven,” which is literally something that happened in real-life.
  • Religious hospitals and other medical providers like aged care services can discriminate against staff based on their religion in terms of hiring and codes of conduct. For example, some hospital may have a thing against unwed sex and if you go and indulge in some unwed sex, you could get fired.

Education/Childcare

  • A childcare worker could literally tell a mother that denying their child a father is the act of a sinful woman, even if said father is a violent criminal who deserves to be locked up in a box.
  • Religious schools can refuse to hire staff or admit students if they don’t follow the same faith.
  • If a student attending a religious school suddenly declare they’re agnostic, the school will be able to expel, suspend or punish the student.

It remains to be seen whether Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination bill will actually become law, but it would be a massive blow should it happen as it is, in the words of Ian Thorpe, “a licence to discriminate.”

But hey, at least there will be plenty of thoughts and prayers for everyone to share around.

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Scott Morrison Has Ditched This Burning Country To Go On Holidays

Probably safe to say Scotty isn't holidaying in the Blue Mountains.

Our PM Scott Morrison isn’t really dealing with these bushfires very well is he? After denying climate change is a thing (again) he chucked his best Harold Holt impression for a bit before declaring he will not give aid to all the volunteer firefighters who have been fighting tooth and nail against the bushfires on their own time and dime.

It’s been a stressful few weeks for ol’ mate Scotty to say the least and he’s decided to unwind a bit by treating himself to an early holiday. While Australia is still burning.

According to The Australian, Scott Morrison – who is our Prime Minister and Australia’s leader by the way – has decided to take an “early personal holiday” by jetting off to “an undisclosed overseas location” with his family ahead of “several bilateral overseas” trips in January that’ll include India.

So Scotty has gone overseas – while Australia continues to burn – ahead of a bunch of trips that’ll see him be overseas. In the meantime, deputy PM Michael McCormack is in the big boy seat and – again, this needs to be repeated – Australia continues to burn.

Treasurer John Frydenberg also refused to spill the deets on ol’ mate PM’s location, only saying that Scotty is “having a well deserved break” after a “very busy year.”

Unsurprisingly, Aussies aren’t too happy with Scotty’s latest Harold Holt impression while bushfires continue to rage across NSW and the rest of the population is either busy fighting said bushfires or are busy working.

Many have taken to Twitter to express their frustration at Scotty and caused the hashtags #WheresScotty and #WhereTheBloodyHellAreYou to trend in Australia.

For what it’s worth, this marks Scotty’s first holiday since his Fiji trip in May after the federal election. Must be nice to go on two overseas trips within months of each other, one of which was taken the country he’s PM of is literally still on fire.

To be fair to Scott Morrision, if I were PM of Australia and I denied emergency support for the bushfires, continued to deny climate change, and am trying to shift the spotlight onto some cooked religious discrimination bill that I’m trying to entrench into law, I’d also fly to some undisclosed overseas location too.

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Harvey Weinstein's Settlement Deal With His Accusers Has Gotta Be A Joke

The power of money.

It’s been two years since disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by several women. Not only did this result in the MeToo movement, the accusations levelled at Weinstein has culminated in a series of civil and criminal lawsuits.

But don’t expect to see Harvey Weinstein behind bars just yet as he has reportedly reached a tentative settlement agreement with his accusers that’ll not require him to admit to any wrongdoing or personally pay anything.

Speaking of problematic people with power…

According to The New York Times, a tentative $36.5 million settlement agreement has been reached between Harvey Weinstein and the dozens of women accusing him of sexual misconduct in a series of civil lawsuits. Should this settlement be approved by all parties, this will close the civil lawsuits that were brought against Weinstein.

The $36.5 million is part of an overall $68.5 million settlement deal intended to close out the producer’s old studio’s obligations and will be paid out by the insurance companies rather than Weinstein himself.

However, the compensation breakdown and certain terms of the deal beyond Weinstein not having to admit any wrongdoing or pay anything himself doesn’t paint the rosiest of pictures for his alleged MeToo victims.

About $17.5 million (about a quarter of the settlement package) would go towards some of the legal costs for Harvey Weinstein and the former board members of his company, who will be insulated from future liability. The alleged victims will also have to drop their claims against Weinstein and the other executives as part of the deal.

18 of the alleged victims will split $9 million, with no one getting more than $725,000, while a separate pot of $27 million will be put aside for those part of a class-action case, and the New York attorney general’s suit and any future claimants. Even still, these terms still come with uncertainty.

While most of the participants in the civil suit reportedly agreed to go forward with this deal, two of Weinstein’s accusers who have brought civil suits against him reportedly intend to challenge the tentative agreement.

Reaching a deal in which Weinstein won’t have to admit any wrongdoing while also not having to pay a cent to his accusers is a kick in the face for his alleged victims and the MeToo movement as it essentially lets him off the hook.

Time’s Up has issued a statement criticising the tentative settlement deal reached in Harvey Weinstein’s civil cases, with COO Rebecca Goldman calling it “a symptom of a problematic, broken system that privileges powerful abusers at the expense of survivors.”

“While this settlement is flawed, we know it represents the hard work of several survivors of Harvey Weinstein. We hope it brings them, and perhaps others, some small measure of justice and relief that is long overdue.

“Today and every day, Time’s Up is in solidarity with the more than 80 survivors who bravely spoke out against Weinstein, catalyzing a worldwide reckoning for justice. With them, we will continue to fight until sexual harassment and assault at work are gone for good.”

While the civil suits against Harvey Weinstein may be reaching an end with this tentative settlement, the producer will still have to deal with a number of criminal charges, which will take on additional significance as these will likely be the only legal recourse for the many of the producer’s alleged MeToo victims.

The producer is scheduled to be tried in Manhattan in January 2020 on criminal charges of sexual assault involving two women and all eyes will be on how this will unfold.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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