MEDIA STATEMENT: Response to secrecy of Ruddock Religious Freedom Review

January 3 2018


Aleph Melbourne is deeply concerned with the announcement that all public submissions to the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review will be kept secret.

There is a lot at stake for the respect and dignity of LGBTIQ people alongside that of members of religious communities. Any review of freedom of speech requires a full, frank and honest exchange of views.

The notion that submissions to an inquiry should be kept secret flies in the face of the very intention to investigate the freedoms that are under threat.

It would be better for the Turnbull Government to provide full transparency rather than create a tension in our communities. There should be no freedom that is so important that the decision-making process needs to be hidden from view.

The Jewish community is well aware of the risk that discrimination carries. For decades we have been at the forefront of ensuring that people of all backgrounds are free to go about their lives with minimal impact to their personal liberties.

The potential is that the Ruddock Review will see the introduction of new rights giving faith-based organisations greater freedom to discriminate. It may well be that a Christian business that could refuse to provide goods or services for a same-sex wedding, because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, could also refuse to serve a Jewish wedding based on the same sincerely held beliefs.

For further comment contact Michael Barnett – 0417-595-541

Background: Public submissions to Philip Ruddock’s review of religious freedom to be kept secret

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