PRINT VIEW About us Publications and resources Our member schools School funding Contact us ARCHIVE

The Clash of Rights

Again The Australian Editor-at-Large, Paul Kelly (Aug 12) captures well the issues that are of great concern to Christian schools. I highly recommend reading this piece. Kelly says:

“Beyond the campaign lies the great dilemma. The proposition is lethal — that it would constitute a historical betrayal of the values of the Coalition parties if they “backed” a bill post-plebiscite on same-sex marriage that exposed individuals and institutions to retaliation for their beliefs because the government failed to strengthen Australia’s woefully inadequate laws on religious freedom and protection.”

“The Senate committee after reviewing the landscape said: “Overall the evidence supports the need for current protections for religious freedom to be enhanced. This would most appropriately be achieved through the inclusion of ‘religious belief’ in federal antidiscrimination law.” “

“Institute for Civil Society executive director Mark Sneddon summarises his views based on his submission to the Senate committee: “I am extremely concerned about the lack of legal protection across this country in terms of freedom of conscience, belief and religion for people who support traditional marriage. “These protections are far less than those for people who support same-sex marriage. Yet it is those who support traditional marriage who are more susceptible to actions … from government bodies and commercial organisations.”

“Parkinson says: “While the case in international human rights law for saying that same-sex marriage is a human right is very weak, the case for protecting religious freedom, and in particular freedom of conscience, is quite overwhelming.”

“The resistance falls into three categories: those who care only about achieving same-sex marriage; those who think protection around the ceremony is the only issue that matters; and those, like the champions of progressive ideology, who see this social change as an integral step in driving religion from the public square.”

Click here for the full article.

Click here for a copy of the draft Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017.

The Australian (August 14) also ran a front page story on the impact on schools. Sydney Catholic Archbishop Fisher posed many challenging questions in the article, ‘Same-sex coercion’ to hit schools’.

“Archbishop Fisher also rejected arguments the legalisation of same-sex marriage would not have broader consequences. “Many people believe that redefining marriage won’t affect them,” he said. “Respectfully, I would say they need to take another look — it will affect every Australian.

“In other parts of the world that have legalised same-sex marriage, those who believe in traditional marriage have been harassed or coerced into complying with the new view of marriage. It would be extremely naive to think that won’t happen here.

“Things will only get worse if marriage is redefined without adequate protections being first put in place.” He challenged political leaders to explain whether a vote for same-sex marriage would -result in the entrenchment of the Safe Schools program — an anti-bullying scheme that familiarises students with transgender concepts — and prevent parents from objecting to its content.

“Will children in government schools be subjected to propaganda in favour of same-sex marriage and gender fluidity such as the infamous Safe Schools program?” he said. “Will parents be free to take their children out of such classes? Will church schools be expected to toe the line also?”

Click here for the full article.

Back to newsletter index