Almost two in three Australians believe religious schools are entitled to require employees to uphold the ethos and values of their faith, new data to be presented to a key parliamentary inquiry finds. Source: The Australian.
And about 80 per cent of Catholics and parents of children at Catholic schools have the same view, according to a survey of 1600 people across NSW, Victoria and Queensland commissioned by the National Catholic Education Commission.
NCEC executive director Jacinta Collins will present the findings to the parliamentary joint committee on human rights today as it examines the Commonwealth’s contentious Religious Discrimination Bill.
Ms Collins said her organisation would tell the committee Catholic schools should be free to be Catholic, and religious freedom deserves the same protection as other rights, including race, gender and freedom of association.
She argued the Victorian government had “overreached” in its recent legislation that prohibits religious organisations and schools from sacking or refusing to hire people based on protected attributes such as sexuality, gender identity or marital status, saying there was a concern it would set a precedent for other jurisdictions.
Ms Collins said Catholic schools are not seeking to discriminate against people on the basis of their personal attributes but it the schools’ right to “expect staff to act within the Catholic social teaching ethos”.
“We would have concerns about a staff member who wanted to promote capital punishment or euthanasia – that’s not in accordance with our teaching,” she said.
Popular support for faith-based hiring in nation’s schools (By Stephen Lunn, The Australian)