Consideration of the school freedom issue is ongoing, as the Senate returns this week to continue debate on the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students).
The Bill is an unnecessary solution for a non-existent problem and has unintended consequences which threaten the ability of faith-based bodies to teach their own values.
The Australian Christian Lobby’s managing director Martyn Iles said, “The bill was hastily put together on the back of political shenanigans, and very little time has been taken to properly consider the effect it will have in practice.”
“Even the Legal and Constitution Affairs Committee tasked with an inquiry into the bill was only given nine weeks – including Christmas Day – to report and respond to the more than one thousand submissions it received.”
“The Australian Christian Lobby gave evidence to the committee that the bill will provide a foundation for activists to take legal action against schools and other religious bodies simply for teaching their beliefs.”
“Last year the ACL collected over 23,500 signatures from parents, grandparents and students of Christian schools who signed an open letter to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition urging them not to remove religious freedom for schools.”
“It’s for these people that we are calling for strong leadership from the Government on religious freedom.”
The Australian Christian Lobby will continue to lobby the federal parliament to ensure that democratic freedoms are protected in Australia.