Justice Micheal Kirby (himself in a gay relationship for many years) pushes back against the religious freedom push from PM Mad Morrison, saying that in a secular society such as Australia's we should have the opportunity to reject religion in our daily lives if we so desire. That to make laws discriminating against gay people is encroaching into their lives where it's not wanted.
And no, the religious freedom review completed in May has still not been released to the public. Why? What is the gov hiding?
Kirby praised the concept of secularism – that in the public space “we respect all religions or no religion” – and warned it was “at risk” in both the United States and Australia, but Australia lacked the constitutional protection for secularism.
Asked what the Ruddock review was likely to find, Kirby said that there “are dangers in increasing the protections” for religious freedoms and noted that many submissions had asked for religious protections to be rolled back. Many LGBTI groups called for religious exemptions to discrimination law to be repealed.
Kirby said that some people argue “when religion enters the marketplace, when it’s involved in providing education, healthcare, aged care, then they’ve just got to comply with the principles of openness – secular principles – to respect people of religion and of no religion”.
Kirby noted that Morrison had “come out strongly in favour of further protections for religious freedoms” and had claimed to “love all Australians”, which “means of course that he loves LGBTIQ people”. But Kirby noted Morrison had also said his “skin curled – a very vivid metaphor – when he heard that children in public schools were being educated in terms of respecting people of diverse sexuality”.
Kirby said sexual diversity was “just part of science, part of our nature”.
“If it’s being taught in public schools it’s simply telling children what they probably know already anyway, that there are LGBTIQ people in their midst,” he said. “If private and religious schools are not telling them that, then they’re letting them down in terms of their duty to look after all children in their care – especially if they’re receiving public money.” The Guardian