Religious freedom must be balanced against the rights of all people

Published

December 12, 2019

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Uniting Vic.Tas CEO, Bronwyn Pike, has today joined with CEOs of two other faith-based community services organisations to reiterate their concern about the latest draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill.

In their statement, Ms Pike, Paul McDonald (Anglicare Vic) and Jocelyn Bignold (McAuley Community Services for Women) said:

A second draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill was released earlier this week, introducing changes that include a broader definition of which organisations can discriminate based on religion.

These changes have failed to reflect the concerns held by many religious organisations, including ours, that the draft laws allow people and organisations to use faith as a means to cause harm.

We will be working with our partners in other states and other faith-based community services organisations to respond to this new draft and reiterate our concerns that religious freedom must be balanced against the rights of all people.

Religious organisations such as ours have demonstrated that it is possible to uphold the religious faith on which our work is founded, while at the same time respecting the diverse faith of our workforce, volunteers and clients, and providing services to anyone who needs them.

Today we reaffirm on behalf of our organisations our commitment to ensuring that our services and workplaces are safe and welcoming for all people, regardless of their sexuality, gender orientation, marital status, ability or beliefs.

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