Now that submissions to the Ruddock religious freedom inquiry have closed, the Equality Campaign is showing their true colors, and is seeking the winding back of existing protections for religious freedom. Despite assuring Australians over and over again that there would be no consequences of the redefinition of marriage, the Equality Campaign has told the Ruddock review that “the law already goes too far” where it concerns religious freedom.
Religious schools should be forced to hire LGBTI teachers and all church exemptions to anti-discrimination law should be abolished, the "yes" campaign has told Philip Ruddock's religious freedom inquiry.
As major churches push to have their existing exemptions codified in a new law, the same-sex marriage victors have asked for those rights to be repealed to "prevent discrimination" by religious groups.
The Equality Campaign – supported by New South Wales MPs like Alex Greenwich – has directly addressed the Ruddock inquiry panel, asserting that:
"Our primary position is that the religious exemptions that allow discrimination against LGBTI people in employment, education and delivery of goods and services and other areas should be repealed."
Ironically, it was the Equality Campaign that framed their pitch during the marriage debate as not wanting any winding back of existing anti-discrimination laws. Now that they won that battle, they have turned the torch on religious believers, seeking to remove the limited protections they enjoyed before marriage was redefined.
Peter Black, who authored the Equality Campaign submission, defends the position, saying:
"If anything, these very broad religious exemptions cannot be justified in 2018, especially after the Australian people have just voted for equality and to end discrimination."
As we warned throughout the campaign, the ‘yes’ campaigners were going to use a ‘yes’ vote to penalise those who disagree. Black’s statement is evidence of that.
Although unsurprising, this development stands as proof that the Equality Campaign blatantly lied to the Australian people. Early on, they promised that redefining marriage would only affect those who fall into the LGBT spectrum. In fact, throughout the duration of the campaign, Prime Minister Turnbull went out of his way to assure us that our fundamental freedoms would remain intact:
“I just want to reassure Australians that as strongly as I believe in the right of same-sex couples to marry, even more strongly, if you like, do I believe in religious freedom.”
However, their last-minute submission to the Ruddock inquiry stands as a contradiction to all their previous promises. Their attempt to “end discrimination” is nothing more than an attempt to undermine Australian’s fundamental freedoms, starting with that of religion.
“It now rests with Prime Minister Turnbull and every single one of the MPs who said gay marriage would not threaten religious freedom to ensure that protections for religious freedom are strengthened.”