Religious Privilege Concerns

(Media Statement, 11 December 2019)

New religious freedom bill is a dangerous betrayal of Australian values.

The federal government’s redrafted religious freedom bill is a potent danger to all Australians, says Member for Sydney and YES campaign Co-Chair Alex Greenwich MP.

The revamped bill, which includes a provision allowing religious organisations to discriminate and deny service on the basis of their beliefs, puts hundreds of thousands of Australians at risk of being refused access to healthcare, education or aged care.

“The federal government has betrayed Australians who overwhelmingly voted for fairness and equality at the marriage equality postal survey,” said Mr Greenwich.

“This same government now seeks to impose a divisive policy that will deliver religious privilege to those who want to limit care and service to people in need.

“The extent of the harm potentially inflected by this bill will impact anyone whose marital status, sexuality, or personal life somehow offends the sensibility of people or institutions who provide vital services.

“Surely we have learnt from the recent royal commissions that giving religious organisations special treatment and allowing them to make up their own rules can have an intensely harmful impact on the most vulnerable.

“This bill is a disgrace and goes against our core Australian values of fairness and equality.”