National Office, Martyn Ilies Managing Director
Dear Friend of ACL,
RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION BILL 2079.
THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAIL OF THIS BILL: The battle for religious freedom in Australia continues, with the government releasing the first draft of the long-awaited RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION BILL 2079.
ACL has been there representing you at every step of the process, having privileged access to input into the bill as it was drafted. You may have heard there’s some divided opinion regarding this bill. And for good reason: the bill looks great when you read the headlines, but then when you go through the details and the exceptions that are provided, you can see that there are actually some significant failures. For example, one headline promises that you can’t be discriminated against on the basis of ‘lawful religious activity’ in a number of areas, including your accommodation, employment, and professional accreditation.
When you get into the detail of the phrase ‘lawful religious activity’, there’s an issue: how do you actually define “religious activity”? Just imagine a court answering that question. Is an Instagram post like the one made by Israel Folau a ‘religious activity’? It’s a social activity. It’s a public activity. But is it intrinsically ‘religious’? It’s very likely a court would say, no, it’s not ‘religious’.
WHAT WE NEED is for ‘religious activity’ to be defined as any conduct at all that is consistent with our faith, not merely conduct that lies at the heart of our faith, like praying or going to church. There are many other examples throughout the bill of big promises that aren’t backed up in the details. It’s not a good bill yet, because it gives … and takes away.
We are actively consulting closely with-the government, and you can be assured that ACL will not stop until the five pillars of freedom are thoroughly protected.
• Freedom Of Speech.
• Freedom Of Association.
• Freedom From Discrimination.
• Freedom For Parents.
• Freedom Of Conscience.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers throughout this process.
Remember: it’s God’s will that His truth is proclaimed. Our fight for religious freedom is at the very heart of what Christians are called to do – to witness God’s truth.
I’m inspired by what Paul wrote in Romans 1:9-12 “. .. without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers … to strengthen you … that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
Your prayers strengthen and encourage me and all of the ACL team CFS we seek to be your voice for truth amidst great challenges.
Please know that I’m praying for you, too, as we keep standing for truth; together.
Thank you for your prayerful partnership! God bless you,