Faith leaders have joined Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP in calling for the full rejection of independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s “equality” bill, set to be debated when the New South Wales Parliament returns this month. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
The Archbishop put his signature to a document detailing the havoc the bill would wreak on religious freedom in NSW, alongside Sydney Anglican Archbishop Kanishka Raffel, Imam Shadi Alsuleiman of the National Imams Council, Surinder Jain of the Hindu Council of Australia, and the heads of various Protestant denominations, the Australian Christian Lobby and the NSW Council of Churches.
The heads of major religious school bodies also signed, including Catholic Schools NSW chief Dallas McInerney, Christian Schools Australia’s Mark Spencer, and Abdullah Khan from Islamic Schools Australia.
The document was compiled by leading religious freedom think-tank Freedom for Faith, which is encouraging Christians to contact their members of parliament via the contactyourmp.org.au website.
If passed, the bill will alter 20 pieces of legislation, and will remove protections for faith-based schools and institutions that allow them to teach traditional Christian doctrine on controversial subjects, such as marriage and sexuality—along with dozens of other changes.
“There is no safe way of splitting this bill, or passing parts of it, without risking significant unintended consequences,” the document asserts.
“Mr Greenwich’s bill is extreme, and prioritises the desires of one small group over all other parts of society.”
“Most of the issues in this bill were not canvassed in campaigning leading up to the election. There is no mandate to make any of these controversial changes.”
Archbishop Fisher also mentioned the equality bill at this year’s Red Mass, which marked the beginning of the legal term. The Mass was held on Monday and was attended by the upper echelons of NSW’s legal fraternity.
Faith leaders reject ‘Equality’ Bill (The Catholic Weekly)