In 2012, a Federal Senate Inquiry occurred into the amendment of anti-discrimination laws. A number of submissions to the Inquiry recommended that all exemptions to anti-discrimination laws for religious organisations and for individuals appealing to faith and/or conscience should be repealed.
The Equality Project of the Australian National University provided one such submission, proposing that outside of the appointment of ministers of religion, the right to freedom of religion must be stripped from faith groups and individual people of faith.
The submission reads, in part:
“The Equality Project rejects permanent exemptions on religious grounds for institutions or individuals. Any requests for exemptions should be brought before the Human Rights Commission for consideration and appraisal.
“If there is to be a permanent exemption regime, the Equality Project submits it should be limited only to the appointment, ordination and admission of ministers of religion.
“Existing federal anti-discrimination law allows religious institutions to discriminate in order to conform to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of the relevant religion or if such discrimination is “necessary” to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion. The Equality Project strongly submits such an exemption should not be present.”