A Win in Queensland

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On Friday night, the Queensland Government introduced the Respect at Work and Other Matters Amendment Bill into Parliament. 

This bill is a cut-down version of the Anti-Discrimination legislation and has fixed many of the problems that attacked religious freedom and faith-based institutions. 

This is a win for Queensland and is thanks to your hard work and support. 

In the past few weeks, hundreds of emails have been sent to Queensland MPs through the Freedom for Faith Contact Your MP site. Freedom for Faith has also been supporting heads of faith to be active in the media and behind the scenes to advocate for religious freedom. 

The job is not finished. 

There are still elements in the bill that risk silencing religious speech and freedoms: 

  • The prohibition on “hateful” speech still remains, with no clear definition of what “hateful” means. 
  • A new category of “sex-based discrimination” has been created, which is much broader than “sexual discrimination” and could include traditional teaching on sexuality and gender. 
  • The positive duty to prevent discrimination could see faith-based institutions and schools forced to teach against their beliefs. 
  • Religious exemptions have not been extended to cover these new sections of legislation, so religious speech and faith-based institutions are not protected. 

Freedom for Faith is working with the heads of faith to analyse the bill as presented, understand the issues in detail, and prepare a response.  

Once the heads of faith have finalised their request, Freedom for Faith will be asking churches and faith communities across Queensland to write to their MP through their Contact Your MP site. 

The Government withdrew the previous version of the bill because they heard the voice of the people.  

Now we need to convince them to fix the rest.