Locks out protection for Christian doctors and black footballers

Scott Morrison locks in protection for gay children. Christians are presented there as the enemy.
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6 Responses to Locks out protection for Christian doctors and black footballers

  1. C.L. says:

    Attorney-General Michaelia Cash says a proposed religious discrimination act will not be used as a weapon against gay teachers and students, declaring that no child should be “suspended or expelled from school on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity”.

    Scott Morrison will take ownership of the religious discrimination bill by introducing it to parliament on Thursday, with Senator Cash allaying concerns held by moderate Liberal MPs that gay staff could be sacked by religious-run schools, hospitals and aged-care facilities.

    Senator Cash provided an assurance that the bill did not include religious exemptions allowing discrimination “on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity”, which fall under the Sex Discrimination Act. She also reaffirmed the government’s “fundamental belief … that discrimination against students is unacceptable”.

    Senator Cash said she was open to refinements to ensure protections for gay staff and students after the legislation was reviewed by a Senate committee.

    The Coalition joint partyroom unanimously endorsed the bill on Tuesday. But moderate MPs Trent Zimmerman, Dave Sharma, Bridget Archer, Andrew Bragg, Dave Sharma, Fiona Martin and Angie Bell all raised concerns about the treatment of gay students and teachers at faith-based schools and universities.

    About a dozen MPs spoke in favour of the legislation, including Matt Canavan, Julian Leeser and Lucy Wicks.

    Senator Cash wrote to the Australian Law Reform Commission last week about its report on controversial religious anti-discrimination exemptions, including those Labor inserted into the Sex Discrimination Act in 2013.

    Senator Cash said she had clarified the government’s expectations for the ALRC review ordered by former attorney-general Christian Porter, which is due to be handed back to government within 12 months of the passage of the religious discrimination bill.

    “I have recently written to the ALRC and made it very clear that in relation to students it is the government’s clear expectation that a student is not expelled from a school on the basis of their gender or sexual identity,” Senator Cash said.

    In her letter, Senator Cash told ALRC president Sarah Derrington there was overwhelming public support to ensure children could not be suspended or expelled on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.

    “I am writing to emphasise the government’s expectations that, in discharging its broader terms of reference for the review of religious exemptions in anti-¬discrimination law, the ALRC will provide detailed drafting to give effect to the government’s position stated above,” Senator Cash said.

    The religious discrimination legislation was distributed to Coalition MPs on Tuesday and includes a “statement of belief” clause shielding Australians from state anti-discrimination and equal opportunity laws. The bill also allows religious-operated businesses to prioritise the hiring of people from their own faith.

    As revealed by The Australian, faith-run educational institutions will be required to release publicly employment policies outlining hiring regimes and a new religious discrimination commissioner will be tasked with policing them and overseeing complaints.

    “It increases the certainty. It increases transparency in the community,” Senator Cash said. “But what it also ensures is that the position of the entity is clear. And that is something that I was very much committed to, as were the faith leaders, so potential employees can be aware of the entity’s employment policies and their ¬preferences.”

    The government is confident Labor, which has endorsed religious freedoms after copping a backlash in western Sydney seats at the last election, will support the religious discrimination bill after the contentious “Folau clause” and conscientious objections ¬protections for health professionals were removed. The Senate committee that will be tasked with reviewing the legislation is expected to report to parliament by February. This will allow the passage of a religious discrimination act before the election, honouring the commitment Mr Morrison made at the 2019 federal poll.

    After removing the “Folau clause”, which would have given individuals in large companies and organisations legal protection from termination as a result of expressing religious beliefs, Senator Cash said a person would now need to show that their statement of belief was made in good faith.

    She said the bill focused on discrimination and it was “something entirely different” if a person breached their workplace employment policy.

    “You need to also show it is a statement which you genuinely consider to be in accordance with the doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings of the religion,” she said.

    “If it is a statement which a reasonable person considers would threaten, intimidate, harass or vilify a person … you also don’t fit within the exception.

    “This is only in relation to the statement of belief not being discrimination.”

    The Folau clause, which featured in earlier draft legislation, came in response to Rugby Australia’s 2019 decision to sack star player Israel Folau after he posted on social media that “hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators”.

    Senator Cash said cabinet had included a provision whereby Australians could claim “indirect discrimination under the act” with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

    The government also ensured that professional and qualifying bodies could not restrict or remove members as a result of a “person’s statement of belief made outside of their profession in their personal life”.

    Mr Morrison said it was a “sensible” bill, in line with the government’s election commitments. He told Coalition MPs it was intended to act as a “shield, not a sword”.

    Senator Cash said the bill, first floated after the 2017 same-sex marriage plebiscite, was an -opportunity to unite Australians and would be reviewed no more than two years after becoming law. She said she had spoken to Labor MPs and briefed legal ¬affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus in detail on the bill recently.

    “What I’ve wanted to do is take the politics out of this,” she said. “The faith leaders themselves, they have called for bipartisan support in relation to this bill.”

    Mr Sharma said he was “still studying the bill” but was “pleased that a number of the parts of the earlier draft of the bill which I found most troubling had been removed”. Mr Entsch said he would consider his position following the Senate inquiry.

    “I think what Michaelia has done has been quite outstanding in moving some of the areas she has, particularly in relation to the Folau clause and conscientious objections,” Mr Entsch said.

    “But the statement of belief worries me. It is too broad and I need to get some advice on that.”


    by Geoff Chambers, Chief Political Correspondent, The Australian

  2. Lee says:

    But moderate MPs Trent Zimmerman, Dave Sharma …

    The left wing Zimmerman and Sharma are “moderates?”

  3. C.L. says:

    Chambers’ piece was heavily sourced from within the Coalition.
    I recommend people read the article above to see how the “moderates” – not called “rebels” by The Australian, oddly enough – have completely switcherooed the bill. It goes well beyond window-dressing to win broader support. It is a deliberate gutting.

  4. Chris M says:

    What if the gay baby was unvaccinated, could we discriminate then? or just discriminate specifically for the second part?

    Is unvaxxed conversion therapy illegal also? We aught not attempt to persuade them to jab in case it causes offence right?

  5. Not Trampis says:

    Being homosexual or heterosexual is not a sin.
    What is sinful is for anyone other than a husband and wife to have sex under Christianity.
    If a person does so publicly and repents then no problem. however if they do so publicly and do not then they should be sacked if employed in a Christian institution.

    On Folau he paraphrased a bible verse. He did not say anyone of those people should not play rugby. All those who were affronted by his statement do not believe in heaven or hell.
    Certainly who goes to either has nothing to do with rugby australia or any employer for that matter. This is why the settlement was so disappointing. We still do not know if an employer can or cannot sacck a person for displaying a bible verse for example.

  6. Boambee John says:

    Mei Gott. Not only well punctuated and coherent, but sensible as well.

    Well done, Non Compos Mentis.

    Now, about that withdrawal and apology?

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