Newcastle Anglican Bishop Peter Stuart says Scott Morrison’s Discrimination Bill ‘abuses religion to drive a wedge’ | Newcastle Herald

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The Anglican Bishop of Newcastle has said the government’s Religious Discrimination Bill “abuses religion to drive a wedge between Australians” and should be scrapped. The Very Reverend Dr Peter Stuart told the Newcastle Herald the bill caused “genuine fear in some parts of Australian society”. “I fear that some political and religious leaders are ignoring this fear,” he said. “They are set to implement legislation when the case for change has not been made. “Religious Australians need to come to terms with the fact that some aspects of religious teachings have created systems that LGBTIQA+ people oppressive and which fuel intolerance and hatred.” seeks to outlaw discrimination on the basis of a person’s religion. The government has tried to appease moderate liberals concerned about some aspects of the legislation by agreeing to remove a section of the Sex Discrimination Act that grants denominational schools a legal exemption from discriminating against and expelling gay students.But the changes to the law would not protect transgender students.The Coalition party hall has approved the bill on Tuesday, but several Liberal MPs confirmed or hinted they would cross the floor and vote against it. e. The Labor caucus is meeting in Canberra this morning to debate whether to back the bill. Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon would not be drawn to her opposition to the legislation but said she was ‘honoured’ to hear her Labor colleague Stephen Jones speak in Parliament on Tuesday night about her gender non-conforming son and of the suicide of his 15-year-old gay nephew last week. Several conservative Christian groups, including Christian Schools Australia, Australian Christian Lobby and Family Voice, have publicly opposed the removal of religious exemptions from the law. But Bishop Peter said some minorities and women’s groups “were telling us the bill made them feel less safe and less welcome.” “The current bill abuses religion to drive a wedge between Australians which can harm the quality of society which has been achieved through progressive and open to diversity approaches which are encouraged through goodwill programs and learning,” he said. “We have successful anti-discrimination legislation in this country that ensures citizens are treated with dignity and given the opportunity to exercise their gifts to build strong communities.” The bill undermines these age-old protections. decades and is seen as posing a risk to groups within our community. He said the bill was “dividing rather than building Australian society.” The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference expressed support for the legislation after it was introduced in Parliament in November. The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has said his position was consistent with the ACBC, but declined to comment further.

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