ARPA Australia reports that Pro-Same Sex Marriage groups are openly lobbying the Religious Freedom Review committee for removal of religious exemptions in anti-discrimination laws.
The level of hostility towards Christian values in Australian society became even clearer last week as reports emerged about the content of some of the 13,500 submissions received by the Religious Freedom Review. Groups which were lobbying for same-sex marriage last year are now openly calling for the abolition of all religious exemptions which religious organisations enjoy from anti-discrimination laws, particularly in employment.
Submissions of concern which have been reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and The Australian include:
- LGBTI group Just Equal and the Rationalist Society calling for the removal of all laws which allow discrimination linked to sexual and gender identity. Faith-based schools, hospitals, welfare and aged-care facilities are specifically mentioned.
- Amnesty International calling for the removal of religious protections for religious celebrants and the removal of government funding for religious groups, including schools, which are “discriminating in the provision of services.”
- A submission by a Victorian LGBTI lobby group (which incorporates the National Tertiary Education Union and the Australian Education Union) which makes the preposterous claim that 38,000 Australians could be sacked from their jobs by faith-based organisations because they do not support LGBTI rights.
- A submission by The Equality Campaign claiming LGBTI people and single mothers could be turned away from accessing services from faith based organisations because “religious exemptions act as a barrier to vulnerable people.” The submission also claims religious exemptions create an “environment of fear” which serves to “prevent LGBTI people from being their whole self.”
- The Human Rights Law Centre has submitted that, if anti-discrimination laws cannot be limited, religious exemptions should only apply to organizations if they do not receive government funding.
These submissions show a total disregard for Christianity and its place in public life and reflect little desire for any form of ‘peaceful coexistence’ between groups with different beliefs about sexuality, gender and marriage. Sadly, they also demonstrate that the campaign for same-sex marriage has not kept its promise that redefining marriage would have no further consequences. The predictions of the ‘No’ campaign have been proven correct: the push for LGBTI rights tolerates no opposition.
Thankfully, there have also been a host of quality submissions by churches, Christian schools and advocacy groups calling for the protection of religious freedom. You can find a summary of one of the key ones, by Freedom for Faith, here. ARPA will provide links to other key submissions, as well as our own, once they have been made public by the review committee. Please remember the Religious Freedom Review in your prayers.