Media Release



 The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed today’s announcement by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to rework consolidating anti-discrimination laws.



Managing Director Jim Wallace said what had started as a sensible consolidation of anti-discrimination laws into one had gone well off track threatening freedom of religion and other fundamental human rights.



“ACL denounces the overreach in this exercise and particularly the uncertainty around religious freedom exemptions and the proposal to review them every three years," he said.



“Christian schools, charities, hospitals and churches should always be free to positively discriminate in the hiring of staff in order to protect their ethos and in determining what services they deliver.



“It is the shared faith ethos of an organisation’s people that make it an attractive charity or service provider and our society would become sterile if this diversity was lost,” Mr Wallace said.



Background



  • The ACL made a submission to the government’s consolidation of Anti-Discrimination laws in December 2012 calling for the religious freedoms to be protected http://www.acl.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/121221-ACL-Submission-on-the-Human-Rights-and-Anti-Discrimination-Bill-2012.pdf


  • In January 2013 former Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said conduct that insults or offends will be removed from legislation. ACL said threats to religious freedom still remained.


  • In February 2013 the senate committee investigating the laws recommended removing religious exemptions and exceptions from the law. ACL urged the government to reject the recommendation.