Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Freedom of Religion Consultation on the second exposure draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill.
Jesuit Social Services supports the rights of all Australians to freedom of religious expression and freedom from direct or indirect discrimination arising from those beliefs. However, the right to freedom from religious discrimination should not come at the cost of equally valid rights such as the right to equitable access to health care and freedom from racial discrimination. As outlined in our submission, we believe the Religious Discrimination Bill risks undermining these rights.
On 10 December 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Religious Discrimination Bill was a “bill for all Australians”. We contend that it is not a bill for all Australians. In potentially limiting access to health care for Aboriginal people in remote communities, this bill jeopardises the health of many Australians.