The Federal government will almost certainly seek to amend Anti-Discrimination Legislation so that religious schools lose current exemptions which allow them to have enrolment and employment policies that promote their mission and enable them to develop an educational community that reflects their religious convictions. In particular, the current exemptions which allow religious schools to discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or relationship status or pregnancy would be removed.
The first step toward these changes is a review by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). The ALRC has now released a consultation paper: Review into Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws.
The ARLC is due to present a final report for the government in April which will provide a basis for drafting amendments to the legislation. It is important for the Christian and religious community to have a clear voice at each step along this process. This opening round will be crucial. The suggested changes will make it harder for religious schools to maintain their distinctive ethos.
Please pray with us that our God will protect Christian Schools in this country!
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