Anti-discrimination laws.

Answer

What is the party’s position on the amendment of the ‘Anti-Discrimination Act 1977’ to include ‘religious belief or activity’ as a protected attribute?

Australian Conservatives (NSW)

We support laws that make it unlawful for someone to discriminate against a person on the basis of their religion. We are against general laws that leave the nature of the protection up to the discretion of court as such bodies are often insufficiently supportive of religious liberty. We support Parliament introducing detailed legislation that provides strong and unambiguous protections for religious liberty.

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

As previously stated, The Christian Democratic Party believes that our right to religious freedom deserves to be protected in New South Wales. Ministers, Churches, schools, charities, faith-based organisation such as aged care facilities, and chaplains must be able to continue living out their faith and belief in the public sphere.

On Thursday 24 May 2018, The Rev. The Hon. Fred Nile MLC introduced the Anti-Discrimination (Religious Freedoms) Bill 2018 which aims to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of a person’s religious beliefs or religious activities; to prohibit public authorities and officials from subjecting faith-based entities to detrimental treatment on the ground of faith; does not prohibit chaplains from doing their work.

The Christian Democratic Party believes in the right to religious freedoms and it should be protected.

Greens

This is a matter the Greens continue to consult with stakeholders on.

Labor Party (NSW Branch)

A Daley Labor Government will conduct a full review of the ‘NSW Anti Discrimination Act’.

Liberal Party of Australia New South Wales Division

The Commonwealth Government has accepted the recommendation of the Expert Panel report into religious freedom chaired by the Honourable Philip Ruddock to introduce legislation rendering it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’.
The NSW Government will carefully consider any Commonwealth Government legislative reforms, once they become available. Consistency between state and Commonwealth legislation is
desirable.

One Nation Party

It is sometimes said there are two types of Christians: those who suffer for their religion and those who enjoy it. Today, many Christians are suffering from the reality or fear of Leftist vilification. They are being subject to a campaign of revenge, with gay-Left activists trying to get even for past grievances (real and imagined).

New anti-discrimination laws are needed to overcome this problem, protecting traditional ‘majority’ groups as much as perceived ‘minorities’. Religious freedom should be protected in two significant ways. The first is to outlaw discrimination against people of faith (the Margaret Court case) and attempts to limit their freedom of speech (the Israel Folau case).

The second protection is to ensure government laws do not force people of valid religious faith to do things they regard as morally wrong. In public debate, this is often referred to as the case of the Christian baker asked to prepare a cake for a same-sex wedding celebration.

History tells us that when governments have the power to make people do things they regard to be morally wrong, we move one step closer to a police state. Hence no one should be required to participate in gay marriage activities if, by their religious convictions, gay marriage is sinful.

This was a damning flaw in the 2017 Federal same sex-marriage statute. State anti-discrimination laws effectively coerce Christian service providers (such as bakers, dressmakers etc) to participate in gay marriage, for fear of being prosecuted. Religious freedom laws are needed to overcome this persecution.

The key challenge for lawmakers is to carefully define the reach of religious freedom. These provisions can go too far – in the case of Islam, enshrining Sharia Law. No reasonable person, for instance, would want to give full freedom and legislative protection to the way in which the Koran authorises domestic violence.

Nor should religious freedom laws protect a Christian priest for failing to report acts of child sexual abuse. Valid religious faith must be protected, but in a manner consistent with the values and standards of Western civilisation (of which Christianity itself is an important pillar).

Unfortunately, the Turnbull/Morrison Government mismanaged the politics of the Ruddock Review into religious freedom, allowing it to morph into a debate about gay rights, not Christian rights. One Nation will overcome this shortcoming in NSW, with new legislative protections of religious freedom.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (NSW) Incorporated

The party supports religious freedom and believes the practising of religion should be protected.

Animal Justice Party

The AJP strongly upholds equality as a key value, and therefore would support ‘religious belief or activity’ to be included in the anti-discrimination act 1977, with particular exceptions. For instance, the party would support a Catholic school to preference candidates for a position who share the same faith, where that employee is expected to provide pastoral care.