Australian Christian Lobby don’t support Religious Discrimination Bill

The Australian Christian Lobby have announced they no longer support the government’s Religious Discrimination Bill as it passed the House of Representatives in the early hours of this morning.

The bill was passed without any of Labor’s four suggested amendments accepted, though a Centre Alliance amendment to include protections for transgender students, alongside gay, lesbian and bisexual students in the Sex Discrimination Act, was successfully passed 65 votes to 59.

In light of this, the Australian Christian Lobby say the Morrison Government should withdraw the bill from the Senate after the new amendment “completely undermined” the draft.

“The bills were intended to help faith-based schools, but they now do more harm than good,” ACL’s National Director of Politics Wendy Francis said.

“Labor, independents and Liberals, Bridget Archer, David Sharma, Trent Zimmerman, Katie Allen and Fiona Martin voted for an amendment to remove section 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act which contains vital protections for religious schools.”

The ACL say they believe that the “loss of this protection” would outweigh any benefits that could be obtained by the Religious Discrimination Bill.

“The Australian Christian Lobby withdraws its support for the Religious Discrimination Bill package and calls on the Morrison Government to now withdraw the Bills from the Senate.”

“Taking away protections for Christian schools is a price too high to pay for the passage of the Religious Discrimination Bill. The amendments voted on by Labor, independents and these Liberal MPs unnecessarily interfere with the operation of faith-based schools.”

“With the amendments so damaging to religious freedom, the Government should immediately withdraw the bills,” Francis said.

Today the Senate decided they would not consider the bill, due to time limitations with Senate Estimates and the upcoming federal Budget on the agenda before the upcoming election.

OIP Staff

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