keywords: Religious Freedom Bill

  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom bill needs more work

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 13 February 2020
    14 Comments

    I don’t need someone to tell me at work that because I’m queer I’m going to hell. Years of church and Catholic schooling and marriage equality debate have already made the coded language very clear when I’m not welcome.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Religious freedom feint has Liberals in knots

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 17 July 2019
    9 Comments

    The conservative base wants religious protection for Christians, but has a long history of vilifying Muslims, who, presumably, could also claim protection from any new law. One struggles to imagine a law that might enable a footballer's right to send homophobic tweets, while enabling courts, parliaments and schools to ban burqas.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom in schools

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 January 2019
    39 Comments

    When Parliament resumes, one outstanding item of business will be Penny Wong's bill dealing with religious schools' capacity to discriminate against students on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. I support the bill subject to the proviso that religious schools should remain free to teach their doctrine respectfully and reasonably.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious freedom in secular Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 December 2018
    15 Comments

    Let's hope all members of parliament can agree to the insertion of such a clause in the legislation providing assurance to religious educators that they can continue to teach their doctrine in good faith while assuring all students and their families that they will not suffer any detriment while sitting at the feet of religious educators.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious freedom is not a zero-sum game

    • Joshua Badge
    • 18 October 2018
    12 Comments

    Religious freedoms extend only so far as they do not contradict the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. While all Australians should enjoy religious freedom, they also bear the right to non-discrimination and to the highest attainable standard of health. It is also unclear how positive discrimination is related to practising a religion.

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  • RELIGION

    Respecting Australian law is key to religious freedom

    • Rachel Woodlock
    • 21 July 2017
    12 Comments

    Because we are a multicultural and multi-religious society, we do not impose a singular moral or religious code on everyone. Believers can follow their faith’s code of living voluntarily. But if they choose to enter public debate about legislation on questions that affect everybody, they must construct their arguments based on reasoning acceptable to non-believers.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom in an age of equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 September 2016
    18 Comments

    'No good will be served by a royal commission auspiced by the state telling a Church how it judges or complies with its theological doctrines and distinctive moral teachings. By all means, set universal standards of practice expected of all institutions dealing with children, but do not trespass on the holy ground of religious belief and practice.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ addresses the Freedom for Faith Conference in Melbourne, 23 September 2016.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom and the law

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2012

    'The common law leaves a gap between the mandates of the law and the conduct that we choose to engage in according to our individual moral standards. We call that gap 'freedom'. The challenge is determining the width of that gap for groups bound by religious faith which differs from the Australian majority.' Frank Brennan launches Carolyn Evans' Legal Protection of Religious Freedom in Australia. Full text

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  • RELIGION

    Religious groups and the Bill of Rights debate

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 July 2011

    Speech given by Fr Frank Brennan SJ at the 'Law and Religion: Legal Regulation of Religious Groups, Organisations and Communities' Conference Dinner in Melbourne on 15 July 2011.

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  • RELIGION

    Same sex marriage and freedom of religion

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 November 2017
    28 Comments

    Wednesday will be a day of celebration for those wanting a 'Yes' vote. It should also be a day when we Australians recommit ourselves to respect for all citizens, especially those whose beliefs differ from our own. Our politicians led us into this divisive campaign. Now they need to lead us out of it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Freedom of conscience and same-sex marriage

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 23 January 2017
    25 Comments

    Two issues can be dealt with shortly. First, ministers of religion must be free to solemnise marriages in accordance with their beliefs. Second, there is no basis for extending a similar concession to marriage celebrants. The case of commercial service providers is more complex. Many argue that caterers, florists, reception centres and so on should be free to refuse to participate in same-sex weddings, on the basis of their religious beliefs. The case for the commercial exemption is unconvincing.

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  • RELIGION

    How do we navigate medico-legal questions without a bill of rights?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 December 2015

    The consideration of medico-legal problems in the public square of a pluralistic democratic society keeping pace with profound technological change is often marked by simplistic assertions, precluding considerations of comprehensive world views, whether religious or philosophical. It is now commonplace for doctors to be told to leave their consciences at the door, as their patients are consumers and they are suppliers and of course the market decides. Debates about law and policy are often resolved with simplistic assertions about individual rights and autonomy, with little consideration for the public interest, the common good, and the doctor-patient relationship. Even conscience is said to be a matter for contracting out. This evening I ask whether there are more compelling ways to resolve medico-legal dilemmas, while conceding a limited role for law in determining the range of acceptable answers.

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