Submission Group 5

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission concerning religious freedom in Australia. We would particularly like to address the misuse of state and territory anti-discrimination laws by homosexual activists to suppress the freedom to express one’s religious beliefs.

There can be no doubt that the right of religious expression is integral to religious freedom. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18 recognises the right of freedom of religion to include the right “to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” And Article 19 explicitly recognises the more general right to freedom of expression as well.

Surely then, the right to simply disagree with the homosexual activists and defend marriage as the life-long union between a man and woman should be protected in Australia?

But many state and territory laws in effect contravene this right. For example, Toowoomba GP, Dr David Van Gend had a legal complaint lodged against him by a gay activist for simply stating his view that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, as requested by the Courier-Mail newspaper which published his article alongside another opinion piece in favour of same-sex marriage. And steps were taken to prosecute Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart (and all members of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference) under Tasmania’s Anti-discrimination Act simply for providing a Bishops’ Statement on marriage to parents of children in Catholic schools in his own archdiocese.

We therefore urge the panel to recognise that homosexual ‘marriage’ legislation will only serve to increase the grounds for religious persecution already exercised by homosexual activists. Please report on this danger and strive to recommend practical remedies before it is too late.

*The following people presented submissions which were substantially similar to, or variations of, this submission
Lucy Rooney Yee-Ling Lam Philip and Havia DiBenedetto Kenneth Lewis
Peter and Morvyth Howard Anne O'Dwyer Sami Greiss Mavis Lutton
Edwin and Helen Plenty Michael and Jillian Irwin Lynette Harrison Rhonda Stevenson
Ian and Dianne Mullins Margaret Tregellas Shirley Hogg Jeremy and Rachel Hopwood
Lynn Wilson Tony and ElizaBeth Pearse David and Ruth Powick Judy Reid
Kim Toyer Susan Klemencic Maralyn Jones John Hopkins
Patricia Ride Sandra Lewis Phillip Crow Arthur and Daniela Cherrie
Ralph and Jennifer Marsden Lynette Evans Dr Jennifer Williams Darryl and Tracy Marsh
Cheow Yew Peter and Heather Mitchelhill Maree and Allan Johnson Glenrae Barker
Helen Allen Barbara Furman Earle and Grace Greaves Annalisa Riolo
Christine Hargraves Doreen Sheers Julius Kudrynski Frank and Annalisa Riolo
Patricia Keane Dr Christopher and Katharina Hopwood Shirley Coombs Alison Buman
Rev James Houston OAM Viviane Chayna Nolene Watson Lidia Koniuszko
Anne Window Rachel Hawker Chris and Sharon Mason Norma Hill
Maria Prinsloo Charmaine and Steve Holmes Franc and Suzanne Snoeks Helen Cozynsen
Joyce Michael Margaret Ochsner Pastor Adrian Kebbe Ben and Ariel Drew
Robyn Lah Barry and Anne Mulquin Rhonda Murrey John Reiffel
Lynette Bell Elizabeth Stephens William Killin Robert Barr
Rosemary Hopkins Richard and Beverley Grant Mary Shepherdley Doug and Marilyn Gilmour
Helen Sherriff Laurie Hermes Siew-Lin Sea Ann Losic
Gordon Mills Renai Ahlatis Max and Ruth Maddock Janet Sigsworth
Tracey Moynihan Christine Salisbury Dr Mark and Jenny Harwood Nigel and Christine Lau
Hugh Varnes Ann Harling Leo and Sally Costello Colin Flynn
Brian Tideman Geoff Earl Terri Connell Glen Wright
Lenore Stevenson Coen and Henny Boerlage Cheryl Gothmann Josephine Cory
Keith Miller Nevil Knell Arran Green Francesca Hodge
Dr Terry Haig Philip and Roslyn Brown Cliff and Kaye Hollings Dr Margaret Graham
Adrian and Wendy Elliott Patricia Leung Tony and Miriam Biddle Annette Hill
Rebekah Milne Lynette Mullay John Young Dr David and Ruth Cummings
Wendy Stanford Danny and Marie Lacok Irene Carter Ewan McDonald
Jean and Keith Newton Anthony and Esther Nott Phil Murada Joel David van der Horst
Martin Oldenburger Geoffrey and Sandra Oakes Stephen and Carol Porter Vivienne Cops
Janet Cowden Dr Kwok-Keong Lam Oliver Dobrevski Margaret and Bob Lineage
Gaetano and Robyn D'Aprile David Forster Giulio di Somma David and Danielle Stein
Ian and Jenny Goodson Fred Bramich Matthew Grinter Linda Connelly
Gareth and Jessica Stafford Lyn Fox Hans-Christian and Ose Kruger Lai Low