Media Release

Surprise changes put Religious Discrimination Bill in question

The Australian Christian Lobby is concerned about statements by Prime Minister Morrison that the Sex Discrimination Act is going to be amended next week as part of the Religious Discrimination Bill package.

ACL’s National Director of Politics, Wendy Francis, said:

“We have previously declared support for the Bill, but now we don’t know whether we can support it. Changes to the Sex Discrimination Act are being rushed through at short notice, without consultation. They could severely undermine the Bill if not finely balanced.

“We are very concerned that the Government won’t get the balance right and we may have to withdraw our support for the whole legislative package.

“No one is asserting that gay students should be expelled. Christian schools do not and never have expelled same sex attracted students merely because of their sexual orientation.

“The Australian Law Reform Commission is already tasked with resolving how section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act can reflect this, while preserving vital protections for religious schools.

“Section 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act affords Christian schools the right to teach their religion and manage their schools to ensure that religious values are upheld.

“A repeal of this important section tied to the passing of the Religious Discrimination Bill next week will severely undermine Christian schooling in Australia,” Ms Francis said.


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