A Christian Voice Australia on Nov. 4 issued a statement welcoming Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s efforts to make good on its pre-election commitment to review the current religious exemptions schools enjoy.
The said move serves as step one in guaranteeing that religious freedom is observed throughout the country.
‘A Much-needed Review’
The Christian organization lauded the Australian PM’s move, saying the promise is set to come to reality once a much-needed review is completed.
“The pre-election promise by the Albanese government is coming to fruition with the much-needed review of religious exemptions for educational institutions by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC),” UCA News quoted the group’s Nov. 4 statement.
The website added that Mark Dreyfus, Australia’s newly-minted attorney-general, requested ALRC to go over the existing religious exemptions granted to educational institutions under the country’s anti-discrimination law.
The federal AG and cabinet secretary disclosed the current administration’s ongoing efforts to realize the promise it made during the campaign period concerning the matter.
“Before the election, we committed to tasking the ALRC with advising on the best way to protect staff in religious schools from discrimination at work, while maintaining the right of religious schools to preference people of their faith in the selection of staff. Today’s referral delivers on that commitment,” Dreyfus explained.
The article noted that the ALRC should have a report in April 2023. It added that legislative proposals delving into the issue could be presented in the middle of the year.
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‘Failed Promise of Previous Government’
Christian Voice lamented how the previous government led by John Morrison reneged on its commitment to safeguarding religious schools.
The group said Morrison’s government “drastically failed to deliver on the promised protection for religious schools and indeed left any possible reforms to the protection of religious exemptions for educational institutions to the 11th hour.”
Christian Voice argued that Australian Christian schools suffer from discrimination and serve as ‘punching bags’ for LGBTQIA+ organizations with anti-Christian ideologies.
Christian Voice’s National Director, Greg Bondar, said they consider as “fundamental” in a society with Judeo-Christian leanings “the protection of staff in religious schools, especially Christian schools, from discrimination at work, while maintaining the right of religious schools to preference people of their faith in the selection of staff.”
Bondar explained that students identifying as belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community could avoid discrimination if they refrain from ‘challenging or undermining the ethos, ethics, and morals’ of the Christian schools they attend.
The group mentioned awaiting steps two and three of the promised efforts by PM Albanese’s government, which involves protection inside the workplace (step two) and protection of freedom of speech as Christians (step three).
Christian Voice said in its statement that if Albanese’s Labor party does not succeed in its plan to complete the three steps, it could replicate the fate of the previous government under Morrison. The group particularly mentioned Jews and Christians who experienced persecution in the country, which is why it is vital to stop religious discrimination and ensure religious freedom.
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