Labor reaches out to faith communities

Kristina Keneally (Wikipedia/JoshCrawfo)

Labor will extend an olive branch to religious communities through a faith and climate summit on Thursday, Senator Kristina Keneally has revealed. Source: The Guardian.

The ALP’s deputy leader in the Senate announced the outreach effort in a webinar with the Christian lobby group FamilyVoice on Monday, in which she also expressed support for every school to require all staff to “live out and profess” its values.

Labor is yet to decide its final position on the religious discrimination bill, pending two parliamentary inquiries to run over summer and report back by February 4.

Senator Keneally’s comments are noteworthy because overriding state laws with more limited religious exemptions to discrimination law, such as Victoria’s legislation, is one of the key reasons LGBT advocates have urged Labor to block the bill.

She told FamilyVoice that the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, had sought to reconnect with faith communities through a series of multi-faith roundtables discussing shared values including social services, aged care, care for the environment and reducing economic inequality.

Senator Keneally said Thursday’s “faith and climate” summit will be attended by Mr Albanese and the shadow climate change minister, Chris Bowen, who has invited faith leaders “to speak about our plans for addressing the challenge of climate change and seeking that common ground where we can work together”.

She accused the Greens of being “hostile” to organised religion and people of faith. On the religious discrimination legislation, Senator Keneally reiterated that Labor supports people of faith having “the right to act according to the doctrines” of their faith, subject to limits including recognition of the “fundamental rights of others”.


Labor reaches out to religious communities with faith and climate summit (By Paul Karp, The Guardian)


Labor to focus on LGBTQI issues in religious freedom bill amid warning from Keneally (The Age)

Religious discrimination legislation ‘the can that’s constantly kicked down the road’ (Sky News Australia)

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