Submission Group 13

I believe that the greatest danger to religious freedom in Australia now comes from the campaign to force acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism on society. The most recent stage of this campaign was the redefinition of marriage but the next step will likely be a push for ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ to be progressively added to the list of protected attributes in State and Federal anti-discrimination law.

Based on overseas examples, this will then result in individuals and organisations being put at an even greater risk of attracting legal complaints even if they so much as express their view of marriage or gender and cannot, by reason of conscience, conform to the changed social, educational and legal requirements that flow from that redefinition.

Some overseas examples of where religious freedom has been impacted by homosexual ‘marriage’ legislation include those of Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon, US, who were fined $135,000 for not providing a cake for a same-sex wedding; and also Elaine Huguenin, a photographer in New Mexico, US, who was fined $6,000 by the state Supreme Court after she declined to photograph a lesbian wedding.

This type of religious persecution will undoubtedly intensify in Australia now that homosexual ‘marriage’ is legalised. I therefore ask the panel to devote the majority of its report warning of and suggesting practical steps to mitigate this danger.

*The following people presented submissions which were substantially similar to, or variations of, this submission
Magdalena Lane Pauline Heskes Lynne Dickson Lynne Wilding
Lois Lewis Hugh Price Alex and Sue Stephens Elizabeth Fais