With religious freedom under increasing pressure, faith leaders have stepped up their calls for the Albanese Government to act.
Five years on from the same-sex marriage debate, which created serious vulnerabilities for the freedoms of those who hold time-honoured beliefs, they don’t want the issue to drag on.
Federal government protections are needed in the face of increased hostility to religious and scientific views on gender being pushed by governments like that of Daniel Andrews in Victoria.
Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders spoke this week to the Nine newspapers.
Michael Stead, the Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, urged the Albanese government to help resolve concerns about the freedom of religious schools to uphold the ethos of their parent communities by fast-tracking a long-promised review by the Australian Law Reform Commission.
Keysar Trad, chief executive officer of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, said: “Before the election the Prime Minister made very impassioned statements about protections for religion and we certainly want him to move forward on that commitment.
“The government should not ignore the needs of faith communities who represent a majority of Australians.”
New Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said Labor would legislate for religious freedom protections in this term but would not say when.
The same-sex marriage campaign, which morphed into a standing political operation called Equality Australia, opposes restoring pre-same-marriage freedoms.
It’s CEO Anna Brown, has successfully and falsely characterised religious schools as wanting to expel gender confused and same-sex attracted children.
This doesn’t happen and no such power is sought by the religious schools sector.
However, the sector does want the freedom to protect girls’ sport and private spaces such as toilets, showers and change rooms from the intrusion of biological males identifying as girls.
It is unclear how Labor, which supports taxpayer-funded experimental sex change operations for young people, will balance the competing rights of religious schools.
LGBTIQA+ identity politics has weaponised state and federal anti-discrimination laws in ways few saw coming, leading to the establishment of a religious freedom movement in Australia.
Family First supports freedom of religion and association as well as the right of women and girls to fairness in sport and privacy in women’s only spaces.
Lyle Shelton is National Director of Family First. Sign up here for updates.