Do the proposed changes strike the right balance?

We want your feedback on proposed changes to create a better balance between equality and religious freedom rights for organisations providing certain essential services.

Read the Equal Opportunity (Religious Bodies) Amendment Bill 2020 and the consultation summary.

Have your say by answering the following question.

Do the proposed changes strike the right balance between protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sex or LGBTIQ identity and preserving religious freedom for organisations that provide essential services?

Comments closed

Peter Wing

27 Nov 2020

I am writing to show my support for the proposed changes to religious exceptions in South Australia. The proposed changes are very promising. The Bill will mean that more people are protected from harmful discrimination, taking another step closer to equality for all.

However, whilst these proposed changes are encouraging-- I am concerned that there are still a number of instances where organisations can rely on these exceptions to discriminate against LGBTIQ+ and others in the provision of education and services as well as in the workplace.

I ask the South Australian government to ensure that all LGBTIQ+ people are free from discrimination in workplaces, education settings, and when accessing the services they need. As it currently stands, this Bill doesn't protect LGBTIQ+ students in tertiary education, or LGBTIQ+ people accessing financial, legal support or food relief from faith-based organisations.

The proposed Bill also leaves LGBTIQ+ teachers vulnerable to discrimination. 2020 has shown us how important our teachers are and how hard they work to ensure our children reach their full potential. Our laws should ensure that teachers aren't fired because of who they are.

With these changes, this Bill can ensure that everyone can live, work, study, and access services with dignity and respect, without the fear of being discriminated against because of who they are.

Government Agency

AGD Strategic Communications > Peter Wing

27 Nov 2020

Thanks for adding to the discussion on this issue Peter.

Paul Joswig

27 Nov 2020

I've made a submission by email, but with regards to the specific question "Do the proposed changes strike the right balance...", i would answer with my own question - How can we properly assess that without the actual *practical effects* of the proposal being spelled out in detail?

Thanks!
Paul

Government Agency

AGD Strategic Communications > Paul Joswig

27 Nov 2020

Thanks for your comments on the proposed changes Paul.

Lachlan Phillips

26 Nov 2020

As a number of others have stated, I have concerns with this amendment as it currently stands.

I am a Christian. I have strong beliefs, and I believe I need to live them out. A Christian worldview will impact all areas of life, just as a Muslim worldview, a Buddhist worldview, or even a secular worldview would impact the lives of those who hold to them. I can't merely go to church on a Sunday; Christianity will affect my work ethic every day, how I spend my money, what I think about particular issues, etc.

With that in mind, here are my concerns with this bill. In short, I think this amendment errs too much on the side of "sandboxing" religion. Specifically:

1. Hiring exemptions. Allowing discrimination only for roles that "perform functions in relation to, or otherwise participate in, any religious observance or practice" (which basically comes down to only "sacred" roles) is a very confining view of religious practice. Certain organisations are set up for the express purpose of being governed by the tenets of a particular faith (not necessarily to promote it), and such a cause can only be continued if *all* staff subscribe to a statement of faith.

2. Providing services. The phrase "...does not include discrimination..." is exceedingly vague. Discrimination here could be interpreted as outright refusal to provide a service on a Religious Body level; refusing to provide a service on an individual level; simply offering advice that a client finds offensive. The term "discrimination" can be taken many different ways, from abuses that I would heartily condemn, to merely taking offense at someone's words, which I would not.

Example: can a Christian school expel a student if they severely diverge from its statement of faith? Or can a Christian school counsel a student according to their statement of faith? My intention here is not to give my opinion on these questions; I'm concerned that the proposed wording is too open to interpretation, open to abuse in court.

Each paragraph under 50(1)(c) should clearly lay out which classes of actions are *and aren't* in mind.

3. Providing services. While I agree with some of the exclusions here (eg "relief of poverty", "ambulance services", etc), I strong disagree with many of these:

Chief among these are education and foster care. A Christian school will be a place with an atmosphere of Christian ideals. A Christian foster agency tries to house children in Christian families, each of which will have an atmosphere of Christian ideals. This is the express purpose for which these organisations are established, and in either case, there are strong persuasions on sex/gender (amongst other things) that will be expressed in teaching, one-on-one counselling, and even rules. Noting this does not allow for abuse -- but there are existing laws that handle abuse. There must be room for religious ideals on these matters to be lived out.

I am also concerned for the "promotion of health and wellbeing" and other health services. I am concerned that this would prevent conscientious religious objection to the provision of certain services (including but not limited to sexual reassignment surgery, transgender hormonal therapy, etc) OR prevent a individual from offering certain advice according to their beliefs (including alternatives to abortion, etc). At the very least, an individual must be allowed to personally refuse, and have the option to redirect a client to another provider.

While I appreciate basic concerns like providing health services, etc to all without regard to their race, gender, etc -- things which understood in their everyday meaning no-one of any religion would disagree with -- the wording here could easily be abused to force an individual or organisation to act against or be prevented from acting in accord with their beliefs.

As someone else said in this comment chain, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I haven't heard of any incidents where this legislation would have protected someone from religious abuse. If there are any, they should be brought forth as evidence calling for this amendment. I'd much rather changes were reactive, where a response can be carefully calibrated, rather than proactive -- a shot in the dark. Please, reconsider whether this amendment is actually necessary.

If this must proceed forward, I respectfully ask that a much wider study be conducted on this first, along with referral to the Ruddock review. I appreciate the fact that I have the chance to respond to this, but I'm not sure how widely this has gone, and I don't think it will get nearly enough visibility on YourSAy.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Lachlan Phillips

27 Nov 2020

Thanks for contributing to the conversation Lachlan.

Chris Symonds > Lachlan Phillips

27 Nov 2020

well said Lachlan

Derick Martins > Lachlan Phillips

27 Nov 2020

Well said Lachlan, I share his views.

Paul Joswig > Lachlan Phillips

27 Nov 2020

Really well said Lachlan

Ruth K > Lachlan Phillips

27 Nov 2020

Very well stated.

Jordana King

26 Nov 2020

I strongly oppose this bill. As a Christian I want the freedom to be able to send my children to a school where they will be taught about gender, marriage, sexuality etc aligning with our faith. To take this option away is an overreach and honestly ridiculous. If you don’t want your children to be taught in this way...don’t send them to a Christian school. Simple solution without infringing on the rights, freedoms and beliefs of any group.

Chris Symonds > Jordana King

27 Nov 2020

where does the amendment threaten our Christian rights? Can you specifically point me to where it states it will do this?

I agree the bill should not be changed but I can't see any suggestion that the amendment imposes secular pressure on us or forces us to yield our Christian values within our own institutions.

Where Christian organisations provide aged care, disability care and youth accommodation or foster care, laws already exist that tell us what we can and cannot do and tells us we cannot refuse assistance to a person with a different worldview or orientation to that which we believe is right or Godly; nor should we.

People who choose to engage Christian institutions for assistance very often already understand they are entering into a social contract or a memorandum of understanding that the facility practices under a Christian ethos. If one feels that they morally or philosophically disagree with our Christian values they are free to seek these services elsewhere. No one is forcing them to stay.

So far as employment is concerned one cannot impose their values on their employees except where they have entered into a contract that they agreed to abide by that institution's values >IN THE WORK PLACE< what an employee does in their own personal time is none of their employers business.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Jordana King

27 Nov 2020

Thanks Jordana. Your input to the discussion is appreciated.

A G

26 Nov 2020

I oppose this Bill. A lot of people rely on Christian or religious organisations for all aspects of their life. Daily living, health, education, pastoral, shelter, food, etc... if this Bill comes into effect these services will be at risk of shutting down. Whilst having a faith and having Biblical beliefs which do not support the opposing lifestyle, I do not think that these services or people willfully or with intent harm or refuse service to someone for their lifestyle. Most of these services have a heart for helping people!
However I unfortunately do see a big opportunity for someone who does oppose Biblical beliefs to be able to bring a person, business or charity, church, school, or a service to ruin.
Thank you for considering both points of view on this matter. It is important to get this one right.

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AGD Strategic Communications > A G

27 Nov 2020

Thanks A G for sharing your thoughts on the proposed changes.

Derick Martins > A G

27 Nov 2020

I do share A G's views on this.

Chris Symonds

26 Nov 2020

Having worked in Youth accommodation with a religious-based organisation and in disability care facilities that were nonreligious I never witnessed any discrimination towards myself as a Christian or towards others who were not religious. I think both those who are religious and nonreligious need to take their emotions and unfounded fears out of the decision-making process.

As a Christian, I may not agree with certain lifestyles and practices, however, that doesn't give me the right to deny services to those with views that do not coincide with my own or impose my views on others without their first asking for my specific opinion on matters of life and practice.
While working with a religious organisation that provided accommodation for youth at risk it was clear from the outset that we were a Christian organisation that modelled and promoted Christian values. People who entered or work for our service did so on the understanding that we believed and practised in accordance with Christian tenants. That being said both our clients and staff were not obliged to hold to our faith but simply respect it, behave in a customary manner within our walls.

What our staff and clients did while outside our facility unless they were acting in an official capacity was between them and their own consciences. In other words, one is responsible for their own actions and are accountable for the consequences of their own actions whether that be good or bad.

Working in a secular environment in this sense is no different from working in a religious one.

The only difference is that in a religious environment it is an essential tenant of one's faith to proselytise either through words or by actions such as modelling behaviour. When working in a secular environment I don't repress my faith and become some kind of schizoid where I take of my Chrisitan hat and put on my secular hat. If I am asked directly what my opinion is on a subject it is not against the law for me to say what I believe. It is not discriminatory to have an opposing opinion.

People and I mean anyone, who demand that their voice and personal beliefs are the only valid choices to be had and vilify or target others have no clue what diversity means. To shut out one voice to the exclusivity of all others smacks of intolerance.

So, in conclusion, both religious and non-religious facilities should reserve the right to maintain standards and practices in accordance with their mission statements. Don't mess with it if it isn't broken

Government Agency

AGD Strategic Communications > Chris Symonds

26 Nov 2020

Thanks Chris for adding to the discussion on this issue.

Caterina Johnston

25 Nov 2020

I’m opposed to this bill. If you know that a business is run on religious grounds and you’re not religious, why would you want to work there if you’re not prepared to meet their standards?
Presumably the reason someone might want to work there is because of it’s reputation, which I point out (and I don’t know why I need to) they achieved because of their standards in the first place.
I suspect that if this bill gets up, we will see an influx of non-religious people determined to bring down any religious group they set their mind to.
The same goes for parents of students, if you don’t want your children to have religious influences, don’t send them to a religious school. Many parents want their children to have religion in their lives and choose to send them there.
Why should they no longer have that choice because others have some kind of bugbear about it?

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AGD Strategic Communications > Caterina Johnston

26 Nov 2020

Thanks for your input to the conversation Caterina.

Roscoe Hilton

25 Nov 2020

I believe that the current anti-discrimination exemption provisions under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 SA for churches and religious affiliated organisations must not be changed without extensive consultation with such affected prior, and throughout the change process. That is, churches must have their voices heard seriously. Religious Freedom in Australia at the State level particularly is narrowe, as per rights. The Commonwealth government may also engage in clarification of these rights. The State level though ought to be left as is status quo for the time being pending such approach by the Commonwealth.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Roscoe Hilton

25 Nov 2020

Thanks for your feedback on the proposed changes Roscoe.

Lucy Warren

25 Nov 2020

I strongly oppose this amendment bill. Education is available to all through the State; if families elect to pay extra to educate their child/ren in an environment that reflects their values, shouldn't that be allowed? As Mark has said, "if an individual is not comfortable with what a religious school is teaching, simple, do not enroll your kids in that school". If there aren't enough people who agree, then the schools won't get enrolments. But they do, they have.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Lucy Warren

25 Nov 2020

Thanks for contributing to the discussion Lucy.

Mark Yao

25 Nov 2020

I strongly oppose the Equal Opportunity (Religious Bodies) Amendment Bill 2020 (SA) . I'm from Communist China, when I came to Australia, I chose to abandon communism ideology and adopt AUSTRALIAN values, not the opposite! Same rule here, if an individual is not comfortable with what a religious school is teaching, simple, do not enroll your kids in that school! I didn't come to Australia to change Australian values, I came to embrace the values. This is a plain plan to destroy the independence of religious institutions, big NO! soory for being a bit emotional.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Mark Yao

25 Nov 2020

Thanks Mark. Your contribution to the discussion is appreciated.

noralyn tan

25 Nov 2020

I strongly oppose the Equal Opportunity (Religious Bodies) Amendment Bill 2020 (SA) and would NOT like it to proceed. Imposing this bill towards institution who has strong religious belief is another form of discrimination. The purpose of establishing an educational institution that upholds Christian values is for our children to be educated that way we believe and not against other people's belief. There are public and private education systems available that are not categorized as religious institution. These are the type of institution where you can exercise such equal opportunity because they are not defined as such.

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AGD Strategic Communications > noralyn tan

25 Nov 2020

Thanks Noralyn for sharing your thoughts on the proposed changes.

Melrose Baldonado

23 Nov 2020

By passing this Bill, you create another minority, Christians. If we are being honest with ourselves would we really want to work in an institution that teaches the opposite of what we believe? Is the Bill really to fight for fairness and equality or a means to spite Christians and other religious groups because they have beliefs that are against the majority, now where is the fairness in that?

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AGD Strategic Communications > Melrose Baldonado

23 Nov 2020

Thanks for adding to the discussion on the proposed reforms.

James Ellery

22 Nov 2020

May I start by saying it is beyond disappointing that this legislation is being rushed under the cover of COVID + lockdown. Second with just 14 people commenting at time of writing (including a Greens MP) may I respectfully suggest the views aired on this page are neither representative nor informative as to community sentiment.

Having read every word written thus far I would further question how often anyone on this thread engages with religious communities/services or goes to church, mosque or temple. I dare to hypothesize not very often. We have therefore a rather caricatured and DEEPLY BIGOTED view of what religions do and believe. I will not waste my breath educating you. If you wish to see for yourselves perhaps go to a religious: community, aged care, foster care, social care or other service and see what they do and how they threat LGBTQI people with your own eyes and base your opinions on lived experience rather than what you see on TV or the internet. As an example during the AIDS crisis in SA it was religious social service providers who treated LGBTQI people when no one else would. A LGBTQI specific service the Marshall government defunded 2 years ago. Religious freedom is not a second class right. The majority of South Australians who identify as religious according to the last census who are clearly not represented here would attest to that.

To the many haters here, if public funding means the government can control who recipient organizations serve and hire/fire that is an appalling NEW standard. And a double edged sword that will hurt you in the long term if applied fairly and evenly across government ie welfare, arts, aboriginal policy etc. Also nothing in the Australian constitution or any piece of legislation or common law identifies Australia as secular. We are not a secular state. We are a pluralist country. A country of people of many faiths and none. This legislation runs contrary to that tradition. Also this legislation would fuel the federal religious freedom Act push which I doubt you would welcome.

Respectfully James

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AGD Strategic Communications > James Ellery

23 Nov 2020

Thanks James for contributing to the conversation.

Fay Patterson

12 Nov 2020

A question about foster care... I can see a problem with foster parents treating poorly a child being placed with them, if that child has certain attributes they oppose. Against this is the right for a child to access foster care if required. I'm just not sure how these two tensions can be addressed. I don't know what the status is about same-sex couples being able to be foster parents. It seems to me that this would increase the pool of those available to foster children, if this isn't yet allowed.

Philip Shaw

08 Nov 2020

The changes are a step in the right direction, but only a step. Any organisation receiving public funds for some particular activity (including indirectly, like deductible gift recipients), or which acts as an agent for the state, should be obliged to perform that activity as if it were bound by the public service standards and neutrality rules in all its interactions with the public, whether as clients/users, concerned citizens (eg FOI), or employees. The only exception should be the supply of goods or services to the government on commercial terms where governments are a tiny share of that company's Australian customers for that product or service (i.e. Qantas wouldn't be covered just because a public servant flies somewhere, but a road-building company probably would be).

In principally or substantially commercial activities conducted by religious organisations or their subsidiaries (eg Sanitarium), they should be treated as if they were any other business.

In their other activities (i.e. those which are religious or charitable) it would be reasonable to keep the current rules, given current public opinion.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Philip Shaw

09 Nov 2020

Thanks for contributing to the discussion Philip.

John Bennett

08 Nov 2020

In the case of religious exemptions, it is appropriate to strike a distinction between persons receiving those services and employees or contractors etc engaged in delivering those services.
1. It should be illegal to discriminate in any way against persons receiving services from a religious organisation (eg schooling, health care, aged care).
2. It should be legitimate for a religious organisation to discriminate on the grounds of conformity to the organisation's publicly recorded statement of faith and tenets. Any employee or contractor engaged in such work is a representative of that faith organisation. A person who does not adhere to those tenets cannot appropriately represent the faith organisation, and it should be legitimate to reject the person on those grounds. To draw a parallel, a health facility should be able to reject a prospective employee who does not adhere to the established principles of medical practice. Similarly, a legal practice should be able to reject a prospective employee who does not adhere to the principles of legal practice. The same should be applicable to adhering to the principles of religious practice.

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AGD Strategic Communications > John Bennett

09 Nov 2020

Thanks John. Your input to the discussion is appreciated.

Daniel O'Connor

08 Nov 2020

I strongly support the proposed legislation in its current form; and would be interested in understanding what other situations are not catered for; for later amendments if required.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Daniel O'Connor

09 Nov 2020

Thanks for your feedback on the proposed changes Daniel.

Colleen Duffy

05 Nov 2020

If a specific religious body provides an organisation to supply essential services for the community and also receives government subsidies for the work that it does, then that organisation should in no way be allowed to discriminate against others of differing beliefs, such as LGBTIQ people. Therefore religious schools, hospitals and other service providers should not be allowed to discriminate on religious grounds against anyone who either benefits from their work or wishes to assist with that work. People for example, like teachers and students or patients and medical staff. There are many other countries in the world that have successfully adopted these more liberal reforms and hopefully we will soon be one of their number.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Colleen Duffy

06 Nov 2020

Thanks Colleen. Your input to the discussion is appreciated.

Mark Parnell

05 Nov 2020

I am pleased that the Government is seeking feedback on this draft Bill BEFORE it reaches Parliament. I'll be watching the comments here closely over coming weeks. Also, the Government needs to commit to making other written submissions on the draft Bill public and not hiding behind cabinet confidentiality. Why shouldn't the public be able to see what the various service providers have to say about these changes? If they want to maintain the right to discriminate, they should be open and honest about it. If citizens are to make informed choices about accessing health, aged care or educational services, then knowing the attitudes of the various providers towards LGBTIQ people is most important. Also, from the comments on this site so far, it looks like some issues that the Government does NOT want to revisit are still highly contentious, especially the ability of church schools to discriminate against LGBTIQ teachers. The Government should keep an open mind to further reform in this area. Hon. Mark Parnell MLC, Greens SA

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AGD Strategic Communications > Mark Parnell

05 Nov 2020

Thanks for contributing to the discussion on the proposed changes.

Kath Crossley

05 Nov 2020

LGBTIQ People have been persecuted for too long already! Make the change - get on with it. The fact that religion's have held the right to freedom - including the freedom to spew out hatred and vitriol and LGBTIQ people have not is baffling to me!

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AGD Strategic Communications > Kath Crossley

05 Nov 2020

Thanks for joining the conversation Kath.

Mary Graham

05 Nov 2020

Being LGBTIQ is not a choice, regardless of what any religion claims. I am appalled that the changes proposed were not made years ago; discrimination against LGBTIQ people should absolutely be prohibited, especially when regarding those most vulnerable in our communities receiving critical services. There are many places in which religious-based organisations are, for one reason or another, the only available supplier of one or more of the critical services these changes will affect, and the reality that some people have been excluded or gone without important medical or psychological care for something they did not choose is heartbreaking.

Children don't choose their school. They don't choose to be LGBTIQ. They should not suffer because their parent(s) sent them to a religious school.
Disabled and elderly people do not always have a choice of healthcare providers. They do not choose to be LGBTIQ. They do not choose to be disabled, ill, or infirm. They should not suffer because their only available provider is religious.
Foster children do not choose to be in the foster system. They do not choose to be LGBTIQ. They should not suffer because the only available foster care is religious.
People who rely on public housing or emergency accommodation do not usually have much choice regarding where and by whom they are accommodated. They should not have to worry about whether they will have shelter because they're LGBTIQ and the only provider is religious.

This doesn't mandate religious beliefs, it doesn't interfere with hiring policy for religious organisations, it merely requires them to shelter, care for, or provide critical services to all people who need it, for whom there may not be any alternative. This should be common human decency, but where there's an abject lack of that, it should be law.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Mary Graham

05 Nov 2020

Thanks Mary for offering your thoughts on the anti-discrimination changes.

Barry Long

05 Nov 2020

It's ridiculous that in this day and age we still kowtow to the primitive superstitions of some sections of the community. To allow discrimination for some organisations based on their superstitions is absurd.
Any steps that seek to remove those discriminations can only be beneficial. This applies especially to publicly-funded organisations like schools and hospitals.
Any person who is employed specifically to preach superstitious dogma should be excluded from public funding for their salaries and for the support infrastructure (fixed and administrative).

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AGD Strategic Communications > Barry Long

05 Nov 2020

Thanks for your contribution to this consultation Barry.

B Schroeder

05 Nov 2020

Can we please stop trying to codify everything and simply work towards fairness, justice, equity for everyone? Equality and equity are NOT the same things and can be very different. And, unfortunately, we have seen much injustice in recent years done in the name of equality and anti-discrimination.
It is also worth remembering that "discrimination" is not a dirty word, it is in fact neutral. In some contexts it can be used for injustice and harm. And in others it is very right and proper. In fact, most situations fall into that second category.

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AGD Strategic Communications > B Schroeder

05 Nov 2020

Thanks for adding to this discussion on the proposed reforms.

Daniel O'Connor > B Schroeder

08 Nov 2020

In this case, it relates to removing the ability for religious bodies and affiliated organisations to deny access to primary / secondary school education, crisis accomodation, aged care and more; because it would "upset" people of that faith in some way.

Weighing the importance of being able to get these services against the feelings of religious folks being hurt... it's a no brainer.
To not look at the scenarios outlined and pretend this is some PC culture war is disingenious.

Further, relgious works like the new testament is even about this kind of thing: looking after the vulnerable is morally more correct than blind adherence to doctrine.

There is little logical argument against changes like this.

B Schroeder > B Schroeder

08 Nov 2020

Where is the evidence that this is happening? If you look at what really goes on I think you will find that those groups are actually help a much more diverse range of people than others do and are less discriminatory.

When you put it this way, it makes it sound like a strawman being put up as an excuse to further restrict a particular belief system that some people detest, rather than any particular concern for people.

Renae Schmidt

04 Nov 2020

I think all religions should have to follow the same laws and rules as everyone else, including taxes and when they break the laws have equal judgement and consequences as everyone else. I Think religious bodies in this country have done a lot of damage and are not held accountable as they hide behind their so called religious ideals. They are a business the same as any other. Why should they be treated differently. So if someone wanted to apply for a position with a LGBTIQ identity, that is their business to apply. No one should be descriminated based on gender. If they are unable to do the job, then they shouldn't get the job, for example a person is required to lift and move heavy objects and the person applying is not able to do it, then they should not get the job, based on their ability, not their gender.

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AGD Strategic Communications > Renae Schmidt

05 Nov 2020

Thanks Renae for sharing your thoughts on the proposed changes to equal opportunity legislation.

Kath Crossley > Renae Schmidt

05 Nov 2020

YES!!! Tax them! It's amazing how much wealth some religion's have. Imagine the health care that could be provided if the government used their tax for this!

Mark Little

04 Nov 2020

A public school is an impartial school. not an atheist school. It seeks not to have any opinion on any religion (or on having no religion), not express an opinion that all religions are incorrect - the definition of Atheism. It is incorrect to attempt to conflate the two concepts.

Having a curriculum which does not include religious instruction is also quite different to denying an individual employment because they have a religion. It is erroneous to imply that public schools can already deny a person employment because they have a religious belief.

However, if indeed public schools are "atheist", it would seem that they should be provided with the ability to sack people with a religious belief which would be against their ethos. That would of course be idiotic and reducing the pool of available good teachers, just as it is with the reverse situation.

If we are concerned about the dumbing down of religion, we should avoid trying to create a religious mono-culture and instead promote exposure to a wide range of people and opinions, rather than seeking to eliminate anyone who may have even a slightly different belief system. As such that seems to be an argument against, rather than for, trying to remove anyone that is not pre-supposed to completely toe the line of a particular dogma.

While organisations choose to use public money, they should be required to follow the same rules as everyone else. This amendment mostly enforces that position, with a notable exception, which is wrong.