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Pages tagged "anti-discrimination"
MR: Freedom of speech and freedom of religion threatened by Tasmanian anti-discrimination legislation
· November 14, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion will be diminished in Tasmania if amendments to anti-discrimination legislation are passed by the Parliament, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
The Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2012, which is being debated today, would threaten the ability of religious schools to maintain their ethos, ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.
“In the same way political parties are able to positively discriminate in favour of people who share their ethos, religious schools should also have this right in order to preserve their distinctives,” Mr Brown said.
The proposed changes would deny schools the ability to select students according to the faith and values of students or their parents.
Schools could apply for an exception on a case-by-case basis but the requirements are onerous.
“The proposed changes to the Bill violate the rights of parents who want to educate their children a certain way, and the rights of those children who share their parents’ faith and values,” Mr Brown said.
“Article 18(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) specifically protects the right of parents “to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions".
“Faith-based schools should have the right to determine their enrolments according to their mission and purpose. This is to ensure that the religious ethos and community culture of the school is maintained,” Mr Brown said.
“Instead of case-by-case exceptions, there should be a general exemption allowing schools to select students of the particular faith of the school.
“Just as single-sex schools will positively discriminate in selecting students of one sex, schools which are set up to serve a particular faith community must be allowed to uphold the purpose and intent of their schools by selecting students of a particular faith, should they choose to do so,” Mr Brown said.
The proposed legislation would also expand the prohibition of conduct which “offends, humiliates, intimidates, insults, or ridicules".
Mr Brown said such changes would threaten free speech and open dialogue and increase unnecessary litigation, concerns which are heightened by the experience with anti-vilification laws in Victoria.
“ACL certainly objects to behaviour that incites hatred or ridicules another but to open the prohibition of offence to things like religious or political belief or sexual orientation is a threat to freedom of speech. Who doesn’t get offended or insulted at times by others’ differences of opinion? This is part of living in a democracy,” Mr Brown said.
“Censoring free speech based on hurt feelings is to trivialise discrimination and is political correctness gone mad.”
Mark Brown on The Political Spot
· November 13, 2012 11:00 AM
Mark Brown is the Tasmanian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He spoke to Daniel Simon about proposed changes to Tasmania's anti-discrimination laws.
Tas Director Letter to Supporters - November 2012
· November 09, 2012 11:00 AM
The Tasmanian Director Mark Brown’s letter to supporters in the state is now available online.
In late September the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2012 was defeated in the Tasmanian Legislative Council 8 votes to 6. This came soon after the defeats of bills to redefine marriage in the Federal Parliament. These were great wins for all of us who hold marriage dear.
to continue reading.
The Hon Robert McClelland's speech at the ACL National Conference 2012
· October 17, 2012 11:00 AM
The Hon Robert McClelland MP is the Labor Federal Member for Barton (NSW) and the former Attorney-General of Australia. He spoke at ACL's National Conference 2012 about the federal government's review of anti-discrimination law. Click
The Hon Robert McClelland on The Political Spot
· October 16, 2012 11:00 AM
Robert McClelland has been the Labor Member for Barton since 1996, and was Attorney-General of Australia from 2007 to 2011. He spoke at the Australian Christian Lobby's National Conference about the federal government's review of anti-discrimination law. Here are some highlights of his speech. Click
to listen to the whole speech.
Qld Director Letter to Supporters - September 2012
· September 14, 2012 10:00 AM
The Queensland Director, Wendy Francis, letter to supporters in the state is now available online.
On Saturday, 28th July our State conference saw around 200 people gathering in Brisbane to listen to, and to be inspired and challenged by, a range of speakers including Hon Fiona Simpson, researcher Mark McCrindle, Jim Wallace and Bravehearts Director, Hetty Johnston.
to read the rest of Wendy’s letter.
The Political Spot – October 12, 2010
· October 12, 2010 11:00 AM
On this week’s Political Spot, ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton chats with ACL’s Victorian Director about two recent events in the southern state. Saturday’s March for the Babies was a hugely successful event, with approximately 5,000 supporters of life marching in Melbourne to mark the passing of Victoria’s tragic abortion laws two years ago; laws which allow abortion for any reason until 24 weeks, and with the consent of two doctors after that. But bizarrely there was barely a mention of this significant rally in the mainstream press.
Rob Ward also discusses how the recent decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to fine a Christian camp for refusing to accommodate the request of an organisation supporting same-sex attracted youth will impact on the expression of religious liberties in the state.
Lyle Shelton then interviews David Yates, who is editor of ACL’s peer-reviewed magazine
. The fourth edition of Viewpoint, available for sale shortly, contains articles debating the merits of an R18+ rating for computer games, poker machine reform, the fair trade movement, stem cell research and more.
The ‘Political Spot’ is presented by the ACL, and broadcast on Canberra’s 1Way FM and some other Christian stations.
to download the October 12 edition of the ‘Political Spot’.
VCAT ruling says some rights more equal than others
· October 11, 2010 11:00 AM
For release: October 11, 2010
VCAT ruling says some rights more equal than others
The recent ruling of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to fine a youth camp owned by a Christian organisation for seeking to operate in accordance with its religious creed and ethos sets a dangerous precedent for religious freedom in the state, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Victorian Director, Rob Ward, said today.
“The decision of VCAT to fine Christian Youth Camps Limited, established and owned by the Christian Brethren, for refusing to accommodate Cobaw Community Health Service's Way Out project, which supports same-sex-attracted young people in rural areas, was a clear case of rights ideology triumphing over common sense.
“Although the State has a legitimate obligation to protect its citizens’ right to equality and freedom from unreasonable discrimination, it is equally obliged to protect the rights of religious believers to live in accordance with their genuinely held religious beliefs, as individuals and in community.
“Section 14 of
Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
states that, ‘Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, including the freedom to demonstrate his or her religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching, either individually or as part of a community, in public or in private’.
“It would appear that VCAT has overlooked the Government’s own directive to protect religious freedom in order to elevate equal opportunity to the top of the human rights pile”, Mr Ward said.
ACL has been particularly vocal in its opposition to both the Human Rights Act and the winding back of exemptions in Equal Opportunity Law for religious believers and faith communities because of fears their fundamental rights would be crushed by a minority rights agenda.
“This ruling demonstrates that our warnings about the growing intervention of human rights law have come to pass. There is now a dangerous hierarchy of rights, which not only tramples the rights of religious believers and their communities, but creates needless conflict between people from diverse social groups, beliefs and backgrounds.”
Mr Ward said that the Government and its human rights bureaucracy must do more to assure religious believers and faith organisations that it takes seriously their fundamental human rights to live and operate in accordance with genuinely held beliefs.
Mr Ward questioned the rationale of the VCAT ruling that Christian Youth Camps ‘are not entitled to impose their beliefs on others in a manner that denies them [Way Out] the enjoyment of their right to equality and freedom from discrimination’.
“It could equally be argued that the Way Out project is not entitled to impose its beliefs on others in a manner that denies them the enjoyment of their right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief.”
Contact: Rob Ward 0408 348 352
ACL submission on Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act
· October 10, 2008 11:00 AM
to read ACL’s submission to the Tasmanian Department of Justice Review of the Complaints Handling and Dispute Resolution Provisions of the
Anti-Discrimination Act 1998
– Recommendation Paper.
for an earlier submission on this issue.
ACL submission on WA equal opportunity law
· May 30, 2006 10:00 AM
to read ACL’s submission to the Review of the
Equal Opportunity Act 1984
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