Growing support has emerged for religious freedom laws in Australia, sparking calls for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to legislate protections against faith-based discrimination. Source: The Australian.
A national poll commissioned by a coalition of Christian schools, which includes the Australian Association of Christian Schools, Associated Christian Schools and Christian Schools Australia, found 75 per cent of respondents supported the right of a religious school to employ teachers who support its stated values and beliefs.
The polling, conducted between October 24 and 26, found more than two-thirds of respondents believed Australian laws should protect the right to hold and practice religious beliefs.
The research also found 86 per cent support the right of parents to choose a school that reflects their strongly held values and beliefs. The polling was conducted on a sample of respondents with a broad spectrum of political affiliations, including Labor, Liberal, Nationals, Greens and independent voters.
Religious discrimination legislation providing protections for faith groups and individuals is expected to return to the Parliament next year, after Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus set an April deadline for an Australian Law Reform Commission review into exemptions for education institutions.
Australian Association of Christian Schools executive officer Vanessa Cheng called for the Government to implement legislation with “fair protections”, arguing schools should be free to employ staff without fear of having to defend themselves against costly discrimination claims.
Christian Schools Association public policy director Mark Spencer said laws should protect the rights of people to practice religion and urged all federal parliamentarians to pass legislation with “strong” protections for Christian schools.
The independent national research was completed by Compass Polling on behalf of the Australian Christian Schools Alliance using a national weighted sample of 1701.
Plea for action as support grows for religious freedom laws (By Jess Malcolm, The Australian)