The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) notes the Albanese government announcement of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) inquiry into the Sex Discrimination Act with a stated purpose to follow through on their promise to introduce legislation to protect religious Australians from discrimination.
ACL’s National Director of Politics, Wendy Francis, said “We welcome the government’s statement of intent to follow through on its promise to introduce legislation to protect religious Australians from discrimination.
“Over recent times there has been an increase in religious discrimination which has alarmed the majority of Australians (over 60%) who are religious. The booting of Essendon Football Club’s CEO, Andrew Thorburn, because of his Christian beliefs and church involvement is just one example.
“However, the ALRC Terms of Reference released today as part of the process are too narrow as they fail to make provision for schools and faith-based communities to operate according to their core set of values, or ethos – that which sets the tone for the community. A current reading of the Terms of Reference appear to accommodate for the right to ‘build a community of faith’ merely at the time of employment. We call on the Attorney General to widen the Terms of Reference to allow faith-based organisations the same rights as political parties and other value-based organisations.
“Australians of faith will be carefully watching the process towards the introduction of legislation that will outlaw religious discrimination. This continues to be an issue of vital importance for millions of Australians and must remain a priority for the Albanese government”, Ms Francis concluded.