The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomes the long-anticipated public release of the Ruddock Review by the Morrison government, which includes protection of the charitable status for charities with a traditional marriage belief.
However, according to managing director, Martyn Iles more needs to be done in order to protect religious freedom.
“The efficacy of the proposed Religious Discrimination Act will depend on whether the expression of traditional beliefs about marriage, gender, sexuality and family are explicitly protected.”
“Because of the nature of religious belief, the Act should also ensure compulsion against conscience is considered a detriment and therefore religious discrimination.”
“Certain entities should also be protected under the Act, like not-for-profits with a religious ethos, including discrimination by governments in the discretionary allocation of funding and other benefits.”
Ultimately, the Ruddock recommendations don't go far enough “It’s disappointing to see there are no protections for freedom of speech, conscience, or a positive right to religious freedom.”
“Ruddock is a start, but there is no doubt we have a long way to go to ensure that religious freedom continues to mean something in Australia,” said Mr Iles.
The Australian Christian Lobby will be campaigning to ensure that the Religious Discrimination Act is drafted in a way that protects the millions of Australians for whom religious conviction is fundamental to their identity.