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Submission to the Religious Freedom Review 2018 (PDF, 138 KB, 14 February 2018)
A review into religious freedom announced late last year was explicitly linked to concerns raised during the marriage equality debate. Should bakers be able to refuse to bake cakes for gay weddings without the risk of legal repercussions? We suggest not.
This review apparently overlaps temporally with another another review on the same topic announced in 2016, which invites questions around the efficiency of the review process.
The panel presented its report to the Prime Minister on the deadline of 18th May, but Mr Turnbull feels the need to "[consider] the report in detail and will consult with members of the Government before releasing it to the public and responding to its findings".
The review recieved about fifteen thousand submissions, of which about half appear to be prepared from one of sixteen templates.
We look forward to seeing the panel's findings.
In our submission (number 13064), we stressed that freedom from religion is vital in a secular and egalitarian society. Secular Government is one of the Science Party's core principles, supported by of a suite of policies. Our submission argued for:
- Freedom of speech
- Removal of compulsory religion from public life, including parliaments and our educational and healthcare institutions
- Protection of children and other vulnerable groups
- Non-discrimination in providing goods and services
- An end to the definition of "the advancement of religion" as a charitable purpose.