Submission to the Federal Government’s Religious Freedom Review

You have until 14 February to make a submission.  Go now.  There are fears that this review “Is Actually About Entrenching Discrimination, Participant Says“.  Please make a submission.

The short read of this summary is that although someone has, in Australia, the freedom to believe in whatever religion they choose, everyone in Australia has the freedom to live their life in a lawful way.

No one religion should dictate to the population of Australia what is immoral and therefore what is allowed. People in Australia should be free to live their lives in accordance with Australian laws around decency, consent, anti-discrimination, and equality.

No religion in Australia should be free to discriminate against people in the provision of their services or in relation to employment in non-religion specific jobs. For example, a religious school (Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Buddhist, etc) should not be able to discriminate against a science teacher who may be divorced, a single parent, and/or LGBTIQ+ etc, provided they are teaching science and not denigrating the religion of the school. I understand that where a teacher is required to teach specifics about religion, then they should be a member of that faith.

Australia is made up of a wide range of people with different experiences and ways of living in society. People who are different from the so-called norm, should be free to live, work, and enjoy society as much as anyone else. No one should be subjected to any form of discrimination because of an innate quality of theirs or an event that has happened to them.

I am a former Catholic, my parents are Catholic, my huband’s parents are Catholic, I am well versed in the social-justice framework of the Catholic faith (less so the conservative framework that is more prevalent in Victoria). I am also the President and co-founder of Bisexual Alliance Victoria, a peer support and advocacy group for Victoria’s bisexual community. I am well aware of the harm that the recent marriage-equality postal survey caused to the LGBTIQ+ community, particularly trans and gender diverse members. Further allowing discrimination on the basis of religion will cause additional harm to an already traumatised community and should not happen. The right of religious organisations to discriminate should be reduced further to specific religious functions only.

I’ve never understood why faiths who claim that they speak with the authority of their deities, are so afraid of certain types of people they call sinners. If your god/s are so afraid of LGBTIQ+ people, divorcees, single parents, etc, that is not a god worth worshipping. If your faith is true, then you would accept all people and walk with them in that faith, and not push anyone else away.

Religious groups should not have any further rights to discriminate against marginalised parts of the community.

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