By Andrew Koubaridis – The Herald Sun
The Australian Christian Lobby has vowed to support and bankroll a disgraced Melbourne doctor who targeted women and gay people in online rants.
Conservative doctor Jereth Kok was stripped of his right to practise medicine by the Medical Board of Australia after he appeared to “endorse or call for violence and/or genocide towards racial and religious groups” on Facebook, according to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which this month upheld the suspension.
Dr Kok had appealed the case to VCAT.
Martyn Iles, the ACL managing director, said in a YouTube video: “If Jereth wants to appeal this and I think it probably should then certainly we would give him all the support that he needs then certainly we would give him all the support that he needs and indeed the human rights law alliance would stand ready to help to ensure that can be done, because it would be the right thing to do.”
He finished by screwing up what appeared to be the VCAT decision and throwing it at the camera.
Australian Rationalist Society president Meredith Doig said the ACL’s support of Dr Kok showed why the Morrison government’s Religious Discrimination Bill should be dumped.
“The ACL raised millions of dollars by stirring up outrage during the Folau case,” Dr Doig said.
“It is now clear the lobby wants to make Dr Kok their new poster boy by offering to bankroll
future legal appeals against his suspension.”
She said a campaign, #DontDivideUs, has been launched to stop the proposed Bill.
“If the Religious Discrimination Bill becomes law, it will embolden other doctors to follow Dr Kok’s inflammatory and offensive conduct in the name of religion.”
“Existing anti-discrimination laws will be overridden and people who espouse hateful views will have a potential defence…A fresh outbreak of ‘culture wars’ is the last thing we need.”
VCAT deputy-president Heather Lambrick said the groups targeted were, “…women seeking abortions, other health practitioners and the hospitals/practices in which they work, multiple named races, and members of the LGBQTI++ communities.”
Dr Kok also posted that health practitioners who provide abortions were “murderers”.