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Quakers make a new Submission to the Religious Discrimination Bill

Quakers express objections to the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill in a new Submission.

Presiding Clerk Ann Zubrick has signed a new Submission, sent 4 January 2022, expressing Quakers' objections to the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.

Excerpt from the Submission:

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) supports legislation to protect people against discrimination on the basis of religious belief or activity (or lack thereof) in accordance with international human rights law. We further support the appointment of an LGBTI+ Discrimination Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission, in addition to a Religious Discrimination Commissioner.

Quakers consider, however, the that the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 (the Bill) is inappropriate and misguided in its current form and should not be passed. The Bill seeks not only to provide a shield against discrimination, but also to place a ‘sword’ of discrimination in the hands of:

  • religious educational institutions and other religious organisations, and
  • those making discriminatory statements under the guise of religious belief in any context, including purely secular aspects of public life.

The Bill and associated legislative amendments to the Charities Act 2013 would in effect privilege freedom of religion above all other fundamental human rights, and privilege a particular religious view of marriage above all others.

We are utterly opposed to such measures and would be deeply concerned to have the ‘sword’ of discrimination forced into the hands of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). As a religious organisation, we seek instead to be held to the highest possible standards, including in recognising the equality of all people.

To read the full Submission, signed on behalf of Australian Quakers by our Presiding Clerk, go here.

Last modified: 
Thursday, 20 January 2022 - 6:50pm