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Steven Miles (Facebook/Steven Miles)

The Queensland Government has played down claims its changes to anti-discrimination legislation will be the most restrictive in the nation amid a threat it could become an election issue. Source: Courier-Mail.

Queensland’s Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders have united to criticise the Miles Government’s draft anti-discrimination laws, which would ban their schools from hiring and firing staff based on their marital status, sexuality, faith or gender identity.

In a letter to Premier Steven Miles, the 18 religious leaders label the proposed changes as the “most restrictive” in the nation.

“The draft legislation, as it stands, would undermine fundamental human rights, and would be a betrayal of all faith communities in Queensland,” it read.

“We believe the proposed exceptions should be reframed to continue the exemption for faith bodies, including faith schools, while clarifying that it is for protecting the freedom to manifest religion or belief, individually or in community with others.

“This includes the right to worship, observe, practice, teach, and enable a parent’s right to choose a school that conforms with their faith and moral convictions.”

Under the proposed changes, religious schools would be permitted to discriminate on the basis of religion where “teaching, observance or practice of a religion is a genuine occupational requirement” – but would not be protected for discriminating in the hiring of other teachers.

Mr Miles is expected to legislate changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act – for which public consultation earlier this year ran for less than a month – before the October 26 state election.

The Premier yesterday said he did “appreciate the effort” of faith leaders to outline their views, but deferred detailed questions to Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace.

Ms Grace indicated the Government would push ahead with the changes, despite the letter.

She played down the religious leaders’ claims that, if the amendments passed, the Anti-Discrimination Act would be the most restrictive.

“Well, I’m not sure whether that’s necessarily the case,” she said.


State plays down religious leaders’ concern over discrimination act changes (By Hayden Johnson, Courier-Mail)


Queensland churches call proposals to Anti-Discrimination Act a ‘betrayal’ (The Catholic Leader

Catholic, Muslim and Jewish leaders condemn proposed anti-discriminations in Queensland (The Australian)