The NSW “Equality” Bill undermines the ability of religious charities and health care providers to maintain their religious character.
The bill will strip protections from religious organisations by making significant changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977. The NSW Government has already committed to reviewing the anti-discrimination regime and should not support any changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act before this review is complete.
Alex Greenwich’s “Equality” Bill ignores this fact and contains clauses that will amend the Anti-Discrimination Act:
Requires religious organisations to prove to a judge that ALL their actions (outside the appointment and training of leaders and those who engage in religious practices) are ‘reasonable and proportionate’
This will give unprecedented power over religious institutions to judges whose personal convictions on what is ‘reasonable and proportionate’ with regard to religious matters may significantly differ. At the end of the day, judges are not trained theologians. Religious organisations know better than anyone what their beliefs and doctrines require.
Subordinates religious rights to sexuality and transgender rights
It does this changing the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 to say that young people are capable of making decisions about their medical treatment and major surgery, like any adult.
This bill will erode the religious character of faith-based charities.
The bill also subordinates religious rights to sexuality and transgender rights and does not promote true equality.
The bill should be completely rejected.