Catholic Church may lose discrimination exemption

News

Catholic Church may lose discrimination exemption

The Catholic Church is concerned it may be forced to employ pro-abortion or openly homosexual people if Victoria’s equal opportunity laws are changed.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

The Catholic Church is concerned it may be forced to employ pro-abortion or openly homosexual people if Victoria’s equal opportunity laws are changed.

The laws are currently being reviewed, and it is reported the Brumby Government is considering removing current exemptions allowing religious groups to discriminate against people whose views and practices they find unacceptable.

This could open up the Catholic Church’s education, health, welfare and aged services to being forced to employ people who openly oppose the Church’s views on significant topics.

Melbourne archdiocese business manager Francis Moore said the Church should not have to employ people who were for abortion or euthanasia, or who had sexual relations outside of traditional marriage.

Inconsistent with Church’s view

‘If the Church was put into a position where it was required to employ people who had beliefs or practices which were inconsistent with the Church’s view, then it would make it very difficult to continue to provide those services,’ he said. ‘For that reason, we want those exceptions maintained.’

However, that view is vigorously opposed by gay rights groups, who say they have special concerns about the employment of gay and lesbian teachers in religious schools.

The Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Health and Wellbeing says the exception is not appropriate, ‘particularly given the fact that religious schools are involved in delivering a public service (education) using public funds’.

The Catholic Church is among many organisations and individuals who have made submissions to two reviews of equal opportunity laws ordered by Attorney-General Rob Hulls.

More power for agency?

The reviews may lead to the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission getting more power to investigate and act against discrimination, with a proposition that the Commission gets the right to launch cases in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Recommendations from the reviews are due to go to Hulls this month.


Related


Catholic schools gender imbalance argument fails

Same-sex couples - legislative entitlements
 

Post details