The Project host lashes out at Scott Morrison: 'Give me a break'

·3-min read

Hamish Macdonald lashed out at Scott Morrison in an emotional segment on The Project on Friday night after the prime minister's controversial Religious Discrimination Bill which was shelved.

Mr Macdonald, who came out in 2019, accused the prime minister of "gaslighting" the Australian public by saying the bill would "unite people" and "unite the parliament".

"I’ve got to say, if you are gay or trans or any of the other letters of the (LGBTQ) alphabet, you’re pretty sick of getting gaslit by this Prime Minister," Mr Macdonald said during the show.

Hamish Macdonald wearing suit and tie on the set of The Project talking about the Religious Discrimination Bill.
Hamish Macdonald accused the PM of 'gaslighting' the public over the bill. Source: Channel 10/The Project

"He said this week that he honestly thought this bill would unite people and unite the parliament – give me a break.

"We remember how Scott Morrison voted on same-sex marriage. We remember your position on it. We remember that this bill came about as a response to equal marriage rights in Australia – that’s the origins of this.

"Standing in Parliament and saying you think this is going to unite people? You weren’t listening," he continued.

"Trans people, the gay community were telling everyone that would listen that this was harmful, that this would add to the difficulties faced by young trans people, who have some of the worst suicide rates in our community. It’s unthinkable that we would do this to young people.

"And the Prime Minister stands up in parliament and says 'I honestly thought this would unite people?' Give me a break. Stop the gaslighting. Be honest about what you’re doing."

MPs cited 'concerns' over the bill

Mr Macdonald praised the five liberal MPs who "stood up for fairness" and voted against the bill.

Liberal MPs Trent Zimmerman, Fiona Martin, Dave Sharma, Bridget Archer and Katie Allen crossed the floor to support a crossbench and Labor amendment to protect gay and transgender students from being expelled from religious schools.

Many MPs had cited concerns about it. Federal Labor MP Stephen Jones spoke of his fears about the bill in parliament earlier this week after his nephew took his own life.

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie told the Today show she would not be voting for it while NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, a Liberal, said he didn’t believe the legislation was necessary.

What is the Religious Discrimination Bill?

The Religious Discrimination Bill — which is part of a package of legislation — would seek to protect people from discrimination on the basis of religious belief or activity.

It bans discrimination on the basis of a person's religious belief or activity in relation to employment, education, access to premises and the provision of goods, services and accommodation.

The new laws would also see a Religious Discrimination Commissioner appointed.

There are concerns it would give religious schools permission to expel gay, trans and gender-diverse students.

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