With Labor promising a review of protections for religious freedom, the Australian Christian Lobby today called on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to rule out any changes if Labor wins Government.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton welcomed Mr Shorten’s comments today that Labor “was not interested in telling religious organisations how to run their faith-based organisations” but said they don’t go far enough.
Mr Shelton said Labor’s policy of reviewing the protections seemed to leave the door open for possible changes in the future.
Mr Shorten told reporters in Perth today “We haven’t seen the case made to make change”.
“This clearly leaves the door open to change should Labor’s promised review recommend a Greens-style abolition of the protections for religious freedom,” Mr Shelton said.
“Mr Shorten has already vowed to deny non-clergy business people of freedom of conscience should he be successful in changing the definition of marriage.
“And Labor’s announcement at the weekend of a taxpayer-funded LGBTI anti-discrimination commissioner meant a rainbow cop would be roaming the country looking for dissenters to same-sex marriage and ‘Safe Schools’ gender ideology to haul before anti-discrimination commissions.
“Safe Schools and same-sex marriage ideology are incompatible with freedom of conscience and religion.
“With Labor vowing to pursue these policies religious groups will need a much clearer commitment to protecting freedom of thought, conscience and religion for the millions of Australians who will dissent to the ideology behind these policies,” Mr Shelton said.
While Labor had ruled out a deal with the Greens to form government, minority government would make Labor highly susceptible to Greens influence on social policy, Mr Shelton said.
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