“We strongly urge that any such provisions to guard Christian freedoms, should by no means diminish mutual respect, freedom from discrimination and pleasure of the human rights of everybody in NSW.
“It’s disingenuous to painting Australian’s Christians as victims of persecutions and to bolster their spiritual freedoms to the detriment of our various spiritual communities, lots of that are topic to discrimination, a few of which is unconscious and a few, sadly, deliberate.”
Reverend Hansford’s feedback butt in opposition to Mr Latham’s assertion in his speech introducing the invoice to Parliament earlier this yr, throughout which he mentioned, “the quickest rising type of discrimination in our society is in opposition to individuals of non secular religion, particularly Christians”.
The Uniting Church, one among Australia’s most populous denominations, has some 50,000 members in NSW and is the spiritual establishment backing a number of Sydney personal faculties, together with Knox Grammar, Newington School and Pymble Girls School.
However the Affiliation of Impartial Faculties of NSW, a physique that additionally represents these faculties, conveyed its help for the invoice in its personal submission to the committee.
AISNSW chief government Dr Geoff Newcombe mentioned the organisation was notably supportive of part 22M of the invoice, which might permit “spiritual ethos organisations” to discriminate according to the tenets and doctrines of its religion, together with giving desire to individuals of that religion when hiring and firing.
A conspicuous function of the invoice is that it could defend individuals resembling former Wallaby Israel Folau from punishment by employers for feedback made outdoors the office which might be motivated by spiritual perception.
In his maiden speech to the higher home final yr, Mr Latham used Folau’s case to launch his invoice.
“Nobody needs to be sacked by their employer for statements of real perception and religion that have gotten nothing to do with their job,” he mentioned.
Mr Folau settled an illegal dismissal case with Rugby Australia final yr after his contract was terminated for repeatedly posting on social media that homosexuals have been destined for hell until they repented their sins.
In a observe accompanying his diocese’s submission to the parliamentary committee devoted to dissecting the invoice, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies mentioned within the social media period, “even the personal, social and charitable lives of individuals of religion grow to be topic to office scrutiny and evaluation.”
However Reverend Hansford mentioned he was involved about these specific proposed amendments, saying the church affirmed its dedication to upholding primary Christian values “such because the significance of each human being, the necessity for integrity in public life … spiritual liberty and private dignity, and a priority for the welfare of the entire human race.”
Reverend Hansford will be a part of a solid of non secular identities, equality advocates and authorized specialists earlier than the committee’s first listening to on Friday.
Get our Morning & Night Version newsletters
Angus Thompson is an City Affairs reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.