For release: Friday, 22nd February 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby is today urging the Gillard Government to reject Senate Committee recommendations which threaten to dramatically undermine freedom of religion.

The parliamentary report into Labor’s new anti-discrimination laws includes a recommendation to remove exemptions and exceptions enjoyed by faith-based organisations in service delivery.

“Faith-based schools and hospitals do not discriminate, they provide a particular range of services consistent with their faith, and government must protect their ability to do that to honour its responsibility to protect human rights,” said ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace.

“The exemptions and exceptions in anti-discrimination legislation are protections for religious freedom, which under international law is a basic or fundamental human right.

“Former Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s legacy is a complete confusion.

“You cannot sacrifice fundamental human rights like freedom of religion because of a desire not to discriminate. This has created an ideological soup which will threaten basic human rights,” he said.