Marriage Alliance provided a submission to the Senate inquiry into the impact that same-sex marriage would have on freedoms and beliefs. In it, we articulate the real and serious threats to religious freedom for all Australians, and not just ministers of religion, that will take place in the event of the introduction of same-sex marriage.
Bottom line: it is clear that the Exposure Draft does not achieve its goal of preventing encroachment upon religious freedoms. We are taking a stand and we know that you are, too. Below is an excerpt from the Marriage Alliance Submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment on Same-Sex Marriage.
Threats to religious freedom in relation to education
Article 18(4) of the ICCPR includes the freedom of parents “to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.” This freedom is threatened by the redefinition of marriage.
The Safe Schools program will shortly become compulsory in Victorian state schools, and is used in many schools around the country. Parents are not required to consent, or even to be notified, that their child’s school has adopted the program. The Departments of Education in New South Wales and Queensland refuse to publish lists of participating schools. This is clearly in conflict with a parent’s right to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions, provided for by the ICCPR.
The Safe Schools program teaches, among other things, that sexual activity between people of the same sex is normal, which is contrary to the teachings of major faiths including Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
In countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised, education departments have made programs similar to Safe Schools compulsory, because once a law was enacted that deemed homosexual marriage to be “equal” to heterosexual marriage, sex education was changed to also make “equal” all forms of sexual activity.
The Exposure Draft does not provide any protection for the rights of parents over the education of their children in relation to sexual activity, and so fails to prevent the encroachment upon religious freedom in this respect.
Read the full submission here.