Ivan Ling

Submission number: 
Date of submission: 
15th February 2018

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this review of issues which are of particular importance to me. As a Christian who has lived in Australia for the past 28 years, I have always treasured the values of freedoms of speech and religion espoused in the laws of our country. However, I fear that the recent developments of anti-discrimination laws (following closely in relation to the legalising of same-sex marriage) raises grave concerns regarding the continued preservation of these freedoms of speech and religion.
As a parent I desire to raise my children in line with Christian beliefs, and I fear that anti-discrimination laws may remove my right to withdraw my children from school classes that teach contents contrary to my beliefs. I believe that the right of parents and families to be able to send their children to faith-based schools that teach according to religious views should be preserved.
As a healthcare professional, I want to be able to express my views in accordance with my faith without the fear of being singled out, fined, or losing my job.
As a supporter of many Christian based charities, I think that such organisations should not have to choose between compromising their views or losing government funding. Rather such organisations should continue to have freedom in relation to their chosen policies to act according to their core beliefs and values.
These are just a few significant areas that anti-discrimination laws will affect in my life and that of my family’s.
Freedom of religion is more than just freedom to worship – it is the freedom to live out one’s faith in public. There is currently very little formal legal protection of religious freedom in Australia. I would like to recommend that state and federal anti-discrimination law be amended to ensure that no one can be prosecuted for expressing their views on marriage. I would further like to recommend that these laws be amended to ensure that freedom of religion and speech are protected and preserved.
Thank you for considering my submission. I give consent for this submission to be published by the Panel among its default, public list of submissions received.