Welcome to the March newsletter. The big issues remain: How are “religious freedom” and “the right to equality” able to co-exist? As we await the outcome of the Ruddock Inquiry, I would like to again express my profound thanks for the level of political engagement that schools and parents took up over this issue. A significant number of the 17,000 or so submissions came from the religious sector. This amount of interest tells us a lot about the measure of concern that exists in the Australian community for the upholding of religious freedoms.
The PM announced this week that there has been an extension to the March 31 deadline for reporting to May 18. Will the Expert Panel be able to pull the ‘rabbit out of the hat’? As this involves such an outright clash of worldviews, a ready political and legislative solution is unlikely. However, we pray that our nation will find a helpful way forward, which we suggest, should include national legislation that unambiguously protects religious freedom and reframes anti-discrimination law in a way that recognises a positive right to religious freedom.
You can see where my work efforts have been directed of late. There are many other interesting issues that invite your interest.
Happy reading, Martin.