AUSTRALIA'S RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILL IS A FAILURE
IT CANNOT ACHIEVE ITS UNSTATED AIM
- TO PUSH BACK ON THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA
Instead, the religious freedom bill, if passed, will be used by woke staff on Australia's human rights bodies to stop people of the Christian faith discriminating against people of an anti-Christian faith.
PM acts after gay student expel threat
Reporters: Jess Malcolm and Natasha Bita
Published in The Australian newspaper, Friday, February 4, 2022
Scott Morrison has pledged to scrap Sex Discrimination Act exemptions that let a Christian school try to expel gay or transgender students.
The Prime Minister said he would amend the act, as his government seeks to introduce its contentious Religious Discrimination Bill, designed to shield religious groups from discrimination claims. Mr Morrison said he did not support Brisbane's Citipointe Christian College for asking parents to sign an enrolment contract acknowledging children could be expelled based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
"My kids go to a Christian school here in Sydney, and I wouldn't want my school doing that either," he told Brisbane Radio Bio5.
"The bill that we're going to be taking through the parliament, we will have an amendment which will deal with that to ensure kids cannot be discriminated against on that basis." Mr Morrison flagged a change to the commonwealth's Sex Discrimination Act, which makes it lawful for "religious bodies" to discriminate against people in certain circumstances on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. "The law, as it sits, would allow for that. But that's what I'm trying to change ... religious freedom isn't just about people who have religion, it's also about people who don't. You shouldn't be discriminated against by what your religious faith is or isn't."
He defended schools' rights to teach religious doctrine: "You should be able to send your kids to a Christian school or Muslim school or a Jewish school, or whatever it is, they should be able to teach, you know, kids in that way." The parliamentary joint committee on human rights, which has been scrutinising the Religious Discrimination Bill, will report its findings on Friday.
Citipointe Christian College apologised on Thursday after likening homosexuality to pedophilia and withdrew its contract forcing students to abide by their "biological sex". College principal Brian Mulheran told parents they would no longer be asked to sign the contract as a condition of enrolment.
"We deeply regret some students feel they would be discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity, and I apologise to them and their families on behalf of the college," he wrote. The college created a furore when it threatened to expel "sinful" gay, lesbian or transgender students.
Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said she would refer the matter to the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board, declaring the school's values "don't seem very Christian to me".
Ms Grace, who has revealed that her child is non-binary, said the school's contract had been "distressing" to read. "I urge, in the interest of the mental welfare of students, staff, parents and carers and in the public interest, that they abandon these contracts and they never resurface again," she said on Thursday.
The withdrawn contract had made it a condition of enrolment that students behave "on the basis of the individual's biological sex".
Equality Australia praised the Prime Minister's flagged reform as "long overdue".
"Better protections must apply to both teachers and students", legal director Ghassan Kassisieh said on Thursday, "but the Morrison government's Religious Discrimination Bill will invite exactly this type of practice in employment across faith-based organisations, from schools, aged-care services, emergency accommodation and hospitals. The Prime Minister may be putting out one small fire but his bill will unleash a firestorm of discrimination in religious organisations against anyone that holds a different belief from their faith-based employer." ADDITIONAL REPORTING: LYDIA LYNCH← See Less