Proposed Religious Discrimination Bill must be rejected

Published

February 9, 2022

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Uniting Vic.Tas is calling on the Federal Government to immediately scrap its proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.

At Uniting Vic.Tas, we’re proud to stand side-by-side with all people, regardless of their faith, sexuality or gender.

We share the concerns of our overarching body, the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA), which in its submission to the Government, expressed concern the Bill, ’fails to strike the correct balance between people’s rights, protections and responsibilities.’

Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike said the proposed Bill would allow people and organisations, including schools, to use faith to discriminate against others.

“This is an anti-discrimination bill which actually enshrines the right to discriminate,” Ms Pike said.

“Religious freedom must always be balanced against basic human rights. We must protect the rights of people to feel safe and express who they are without fear of being shamed, ridiculed, or excluded.

“Allowing people of faith to discriminate against people of a different faith or on the basis of their sexuality, gender, marital status or disability is completely against what we stand for.”

“We believe this Bill will likely cause further harm and distress to many people already feeling marginalised and facing social exclusion.

“We urge the Government to legislate to protect religious freedom without removing protections from those who need it. Our laws should protect all of us, equally.

“Religious organisations such as ours have demonstrated that it is possible to uphold religious faith, while respecting diversity.

“There are no grounds on which religion can be a justification for causing harm to others. This Bill goes too far and must be withdrawn immediately.”

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