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article imageOp-Ed: Australia — Protecting the right of religions to discriminate?

By Paul Wallis     Jan 15, 2013 in World
Sydney - A new bill allows religions to discriminate against those who offend against their moral values in employment. The current law is similar, but this new proposal spells it out. It also provides a lot of grounds for discrimination.
Sydney Morning Herald
Discrimination by religious organisations affects thousands of Australians. The faiths are big employers, and the Catholic Church in particular is one of Australia's largest private employers.
They rely on government funding but because of their religious status are allowed to vet the sexual practices of potential employees in ways that would be illegal for non-religious organisations.
In other words, a religious employer can discriminate on the basis of simply claiming someone is gay, etc. To validate any decision, the rejected applicant(s) can be called sexual deviants, etc. It also upholds the Church’s anti-gay policies and endless moral pronouncements.
(The irony is that PM Gillard is an atheist and Minister Wong, the responsible minister, is a lesbian practicing Christian. Apparently personal convictions have nothing to do with law?)
The problem is that this law also undercuts and directly conflicts with the intention of the Anti-Discrimination Act, Equal Employment, etc. The idea of the Act and related practices is that nobody can be refused employment on the grounds which are being protected under this proposal.
Icon for the future.
Icon for the future.
Which leads to a question or several-
These insular, anti-everybody-else groups have a right nobody else has?
What’s so special about them?
The Catholic Church is currently under multiple investigations including a Royal Commission for child sexual offenses and shielding offenders, and its right to discriminate against others for their sexual practices is being upheld?
They’re also tax-exempt on billions of dollars’ worth of properties?
Only politicians could produce such a set of double standards on such an obscene basis. Only politicians would. No other group of people makes a living out of pandering to the whims of others. This is the real Nanny State, protecting the privileges of a minority at the expense of the law.
This is also shameless cowering to a lobby at the start of an election year, no more, no less. The religions should respect and uphold the laws of the society which guarantees them their religious freedoms. They don't. They never have. Why are they receiving "positive discrimination" at all?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Australia employment law, Gillard, Wong, Christian Lobby
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