PM meets with religious leaders to discuss discrimination legislation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with religious leaders from a range of different faiths to outline his plans for a religious based anti-discrimination bill.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) issued a media release saying the meeting had been extremely productive.

The Jewish, Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Assyrian and Melkite communities were among those represented at the meeting.

ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim, who represented the Jewish community, said the meeting had been a great opportunity for religious groups to outline their hopes and concerns.

“There cannot be many other countries in the world in which the head of government can have a constructive conversation over one and a half hours with such a diverse range of faith community leaders on as sensitive a topic as religious freedom  and discrimination,” Wertheim said.

“Each of us outlined what was of importance to our respective communities not only with regard to the proposed legislation but also in terms of Australia’s broader cultural attitudes with regard to religion.

“There was a large measure of agreement in the room about many of the principles that the government is grappling with in seeking a fair and workable balance between religious freedom and competing rights and freedoms.  This sends a positive message to the world about how effectively Australia operates as a multi-faith and multicultural society”. Wertheim said.

LGBTI rights advocate Rodney Croome responded to the news on social media saying he was hopeful that the Prime Minister would also take the time to meet representatives from the LGBTI community who have concerns about how their lives might be effected by the bill.

“Until this happens the Government is open to accusations of bias against the LGBTI community.” Croome said.

OIP Staff, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was contacted for comment.