The CrossWith the Victorian government currently considering all the ‘exceptions’ and exemptions’ in Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act, things are starting to heat up!

The religious exceptions in the Act are causing a great deal of concern among many Christian groups.

Section 75 covers churches and religious schools, Section 76 covers religious schools and Section 77 covers individuals.

The exceptions say that religious bodies and so on are excepted from the anti-discrimination laws. They mean, for example, that Christian schools can specify that those they employ have Christian beliefs and lifestyles that are consistent with their Christian beliefs.

The Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee put out an Options Paper in May 2009 and asked for submissions. Over 1,000 were received and the Committee is now analysing them.  

The Sunday Age published a front page article highlighting the issue.

Church and state clash over equality laws
The Age, Melissa Fyfe -July 19, 2009

The Age article featured several religious groups saying they want the exceptions to remain.
The Victorian Catholic Church bishops issued a pastoral letter last week, expressing their concerns and calling for the religious exceptions to stay.

However there are a lot of groups campaigning for the exceptions to go – or at least be reduced…

The newspaper report quoted the Law Institute calling for them to be cut.

The Sunday Age then ran an editorial supporting the idea of a ‘compromise’ on the exceptions – in fact the ‘compromise’ proposed by Beth Gaze – the consultant to the Inquiry – who wrote in her own submission to the earlier Inquiry by the Justice Department that the right to discriminate be limited.

“Religious schools should not be authorised to discriminate in areas where their religious susceptibilities or doctrines are not involved,” she says. “A proper conscientious objection provision” could be included, she suggests, but one that takes into account the effect on the person discriminated against.

The editorial quoted homosexual group Rainbow Network saying that many of the Catholic schools already employed people in de facto relationships or homosexuals – thus claiming the exceptions are irrelevant.

Most Christian schools insist on faith and lifestyle conditions for their staff.
However there is a huge difference between a group choosing to employ someone and being forced to employ someone!

We continue to be concerned at the push to force churches, religious schools and Christians to act contrary to their beliefs. Religious freedom is important – and is under threat in Victoria!

Jenny Stokes, Research Director
Salt Shakers


1 Response to “Religious Exceptions – Church v State”

  1. 1 Jamie

    The campaign to vote against the labor party at the next election is on in earnest amongst christian communities throughout Australia.

    We call on all christians to vote out fake christian Krudd, Penny “the lesbian WOng,and Julia Gillard.

    To have the likes of Penny WONG, a lesbian as a minister shows us what an anti-christian party they are.

    This plus the push for a BILL OF “RIGHTS”, BY LABOURwill be disastrous of Australias christians.

    We call on all pastors,christians lay people etc,to begin the campaign to vote OUT labor at election time and save christian values

Leave a Reply





Youtube Highlights

Archives

3K2 theme by Hakan Aydin