Media Release

ACL Welcomes Religious Freedom Recommendations for Schools

The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomes the recommendations of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee regarding Penny Wong’s Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018.

Managing director Martyn Iles agrees with the committee recommendation that the bill and amendments not be passed and said, “We have said all along that the bill was hastily drafted and full of unintended consequences.” 

“The bill was always a manufactured solution for a manufactured problem.” 

“It is concerning that both Labor and the Greens still seek to pass the bill which grossly infringes on the right to religious freedom,” Mr Iles commented. 

The bill would inadvertently provide a catalyst for litigation against faith-based schools, tertiary institutions and potentially even churches themselves just for teaching their faith.  

“The ACL has already seen litigation against schools and other bodies through our human rights law clinic, so we know the concern about litigation is not imaginary.” 

“If this bill passed it would mean any religious body who keeps teaching values consistent with their faith would be open to litigation over spurious allegations of detriment to LGBT people,” warned Mr Iles. 

The Australian Christian Lobby urges the government to accept the committee’s recommendations to continue to protect democratic freedoms in Australia. 

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