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Quakers write to express objections to revised Religious Discrimination Bill
On behalf of Australian Quakers, Presiding Clerk Ann Zubrick sent a submission, drafted by AYM Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee, to the Government expressing Friends' continuing objections to the revised Religious Discrimination Bill. Included in the points made at the start of Submisssion were:
The core of our concern arises from the consequences of privileging religious freedom above other human rights.
The revised legislation does not address this sufficiently for us to support it.
BACKGROUND: On 29 August 2019, the Attorney-General released the first exposure drafts of the bills [the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019; the Religious Discrimation (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019; and the Human Rights Amendment (Freedom of Religious) Bill 2019].
A public submission process on the package of legislation was open between 29 August and 2 October 2019, and received close to 6,000 submissions. In addition, the Attorney-General held consultative discussions, during which he met with 90 interested stakeholders, including representatives from church, legal and community groups.
The bills were amended to take account of the feedback received during consultation and released for a second exposure draft consultation period.
Public comment on the bills closed on 31 January, with the Government planning to introduce the legislation to Parliament in early 2020.
To read the full submission visit the Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee webpage here.