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Australia to keep anti-gay discrimination to protect ‘freedom’ of religious groups

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has reportedly given her word to religious groups that they will have the “freedom” under a new rights bill, to discriminate against gay people, and other people deemed sinners.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

20th January 2013 12:39

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Oceania

Under current laws, faith-based organisations, which includes schools and hospitals, can refuse to employ those they view as sinners, if they see that it “is necessary to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion”.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director, Jim Wallace, who has met with Julia Gillard several times, said that she assured him that “she has no intention of restricting freedom of religion”, in terms of religious groups’ legal right to discriminate in employing or dismissing staff.

Australian religious organisations are large employers, with the Catholic Church being one of Australia’s largest private employers. They receive goernment funding, but because they have religious status, they are allowed to vet the sexual orientation of potential employees, in ways which would be illegal for non-religious groups.

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