The Morrison Government should withdraw its Religious Discrimination Bills from the Senate after they have been completely undermined by the simultaneous voting down of section 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act in the House of Representatives overnight, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

Australian Christian Lobby’s National Director of Politics said, “The bills were intended to help faith-based schools, but they now do more harm than good.

“Labor, independents and Liberals, Bridget Archer, David Sharma, Trent Zimmerman, Katie Allen and Fiona Martin voted for an amendment to remove section 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act which contains vital protections for religious schools. These protections have enabled faith-based schools to teach their religion and conduct their schools according to their faith values. The loss of this protection would outweigh any benefits that could be obtained by the Religious Discrimination Bill.

“The Australian Christian Lobby withdraws its support for the Religious Discrimination Bill package and calls on the Morrison Government to now withdraw the Bills from the Senate.

“Taking away protections for Christian schools is a price too high to pay for the passage of the Religious Discrimination Bill. The amendments voted on by Labor, independents and these Liberal MPs unnecessarily interfere with the operation of faith-based schools.

“With the amendments so damaging to religious freedom, the Government should immediately withdraw the bills” Ms Francis said.

ENDS