People of faith deserve protections NOW!

1 December 2021

Christian schools and their communities across Australia are calling on MPs to vote in support of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 now.

“This Bill has already been through extensive consultation with faith leaders,” said Vanessa Cheng of the Australian Association of Christian Schools, “and a Joint Standing Committee has been tasked with a further review of the finer details.”

“Calls to delay a vote in the House of Representatives are merely a tactic by those who oppose religious freedom,” said Mark Spencer of Christian Schools Australia, “it is a very simple question for MPs – do you support religious freedom or not?”

Recent private polling* demonstrates widespread support for the Bill’s protections with more than 2 out of 3 Australians believing that Australian laws should uphold and protect the universal human right to hold and practice religious beliefs.

The polling also showed strong support for faith based schools, with 79% of Australians supporting the right of religious schools to employ teachers and other staff who support the values and beliefs of the school, if those values and beliefs are clearly stated. Over 80% of Australians also supported the rights of parents to choose a school that reflects their values and beliefs. This support was across the political spectrum.

“The polling shows widespread public support for the protections this Bill provides to religious schools,” said Mrs Cheng.

“The Joint Standing Committee will be able to address any remaining concerns around the Bill and calls for a further Senate inquiry are unnecessary,” Mr Spencer
added.

The Australian Association of Christian schools and Christian Schools Australia call upon MPs to listen to the concerns of our community and ensure the passage of this Bill through the House today.

ENDS

* Independent national polling of a weighted representative sample of 1515 Australians undertaken from 19 October 2021.

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Mark Spencer

Director of Public Policy

Christian Schools Australia

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About Christian Schools Australia

Christian Schools Australia is the largest association of Christian schools in the country and serves schools in 180 locations, supporting some 10,000 staff and more than 70,000 students across Australia. CSA is part of a global ACSI network of approximately 24,000 schools, educating more than 5.5 million students in over 100 countries world-wide.