Majority supports religious freedoms, poll finds

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Nearly two-thirds of Australians support legal protections for religious institutions and protections for workers making statements of faith outside office hours. Source: The Australian.

A poll of 1003 people commissioned by the Australian Christian Lobby also showed majority support for religious hospitals having the right to refuse to perform abortions and euthanasia, and backing for religious schools to hire only staff who adhere to their beliefs.

The poll comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison faces pressure to deliver a promised religious discrimination act before the next election.

The ACL is pushing the polling to federal MPs in the lead-up to Attorney-General Michaelia Cash’s planned final draft of a religious discrimination act at the end of the year, as she signals a narrow final bill acceptable to the majority of parliament.

Polling by consumer research firm PureProfile in August and early September found 65 per cent of respondents wanted legal protections for people of faith, with ACL managing director Martyn Iles saying religious freedoms would be an election issue unless the major parties made significant changes.

The poll found 71 per cent of respondents supported curtailing the power of employers to discipline workers who made statements of faith outside work hours.

It found 60 per cent of respondents supported schools’ rights to not employ staff “in conflict” with their religious beliefs.

The poll also reported 55 per cent of respondents supported religious hospitals refusing to carry out operations that went against their faith, in the wake of the passage of assisted dying laws through Queensland’s Parliament.

FULL STORY

Majority supports religious freedoms, poll finds (By Richard Ferguson, The Australian

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