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Parliamentary Committee Resumes Hearing On Proposed New Federal Religious Freedom Laws

by | Thu, Jan 13 2022

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The federal parliamentary committee on human rights is on Thursday holding its second hearing into the religious discrimination bill introduced late last year by Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Church groups, education representatives and medical experts are expected to front the inquiry.

The proposed laws are being opposed by some Liberal MPs who are concerned about children being expelled from schools because of their sexuality.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli says Catholic schools do not expel students or sack staff on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status.

in his submission to the inquiry he says: “Suggestions that they do, have gravely misrepresented and undermined the good work of Catholic schools and unnecessarily caused anxiety in the community.”

The committee on human rights is due to hand down its report on February the 4th.

The Independent Education Union and the Association of Heads of Independent Schools want the bill delayed until it can be considered at the same time as any amendments to sex discrimination laws.

They fear the bill as it stands could expose religious schools to expensive and unnecessary litigation.

The Australian Medical Association supports the bill subject to some amendments on the rules for church-run hospitals.