Media Release

Religious freedom under threat in Australia

Details of the Ruddock Review made public today by Fairfax Media reveal a mixed bag of recommendations for people of faith, says the Australian Christian Lobby.

“Maintaining the rights of religious schools to make hiring and enrolment decisions based on their faith is important, though this is already protected in the Sex Discrimination Act,” said Martyn Iles, Managing Director of the ACL. 

“Associational freedoms like this should remain uncontroversial in a free country like Australia. Political parties and other groups can discriminate in employment and membership, so it is entirely consistent to grant religious groups similar freedoms.” 

“However, religious freedom legislation will have to go much further to deal with the very real threats to religious freedom in Australia.” 

“Since 2016 ACL has assisted dozens of people who have been discriminated against because of their faith. For example, Josh was threatened with academic discipline just for praying for a fellow student, with permission.  

“This is one of many cases where people have had disciplinary action against them, lost accreditations, or even been fired for expressing their religious beliefs. 

“Adequate religious freedom legislation must protect people from discrimination and guarantee free speech, particularly in relation to religious beliefs about marriage, sexuality and gender.”

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