Catholic Schools NSW and the Sydney Anglican Diocese are among groups that have declared support for a One Nation bill to amend religious discrimination laws in New South Wales. Source: The Sun-Herald.
But other church groups, as well as the peak body promoting diversity in Australian workplaces, have condemned One Nation Leader Mark Latham’s bill, arguing it would permit vilification and harassment in the name of faith and prevent firms from fostering “inclusive cultures”.
The comments are contained in submissions to a state parliamentary inquiry which are yet to be published but have been obtained by The Sun-Herald.
Mr Latham’s bill would explicitly make it unlawful for a person to be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, bringing NSW into line with other states. However, it would also go much further, protecting people such as former rugby union player Israel Folau from adverse action by employers for comments made outside the workplace that are motivated by religious belief.
It would be unlawful to discriminate against any employee for their religious activity, as long as the activity did not contain “direct criticism” of their employer, or cause “direct and material financial detriment” to the employer.
Catholic Schools NSW, responsible for educating about one in five NSW students, supported the bill’s aims but was concerned certain clauses were contradictory and would inadvertently limit Catholic schools’ ability to preference Catholic staff and students.
The parliamentary inquiry is ongoing and will hold public hearings before the bill is voted upon.
Sydney Anglicans, religious schools declare support for Latham discrimination Bill (By Michael Koziol, The Sun-Herald)
Christian schools support ban on LGBTIQ+ studies (The Daily Telegraph)