Bill fails religious protection test

Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Media Statement  

Bill fails religious protection test

“There are serious religious issues and freedom of conscience concerns arising from the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 being promoted by some liberal MPs” said the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Dr Glenn Davies today. 
 
“It fails the religious protection test,” the Archbishop said. “The Bill not only circumvents the government pledge for a plebiscite on the issue, it is manifestly deficient in its attempt to protect civil and religious freedoms for all Australians,” Dr Davies said. 

“The Senate Select Committee report earlier this year on the Commonwealth Government's Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage Bill) stressed that there was a consensus that the right to religious freedom should be positively protected. It was clear from the report that broad protections for religious freedom were needed, yet the current private members Bill has largely ignored these concerns.”

“In particular, an ‘anti-detriment’ clause to protect individuals or organisations from detriment, for expressing the view that marriage is between a man and a woman, must complement the broader religious freedom protections. The Senate Select Committee found that not only did current protections for religious freedom need to be enhanced, but the concept of a 'no detriment' clause could be further examined alongside those greater protections. For such a momentous decision, this Bill contains none of these crucial measures.”

“The far-reaching consequences for society, families and children have barely begun to be raised in public discussion. This Bill fails to protect either individual conscience or religious freedom and I urge MPs to reject it.” the Archbishop said.

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