Religious Discrimination and Religious Freedom

Movers Stead, M

General Synod
Expresses its disappointment that there is still no federal legislation prohibiting religious discrimination, and that it continues to be lawful to discriminate against people on the basis of their religious belief or activity in some States in Australia.

  1. Calls on the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to commit to their commitment to religious freedom as set out in international law including Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  2. Reaffirms General Synod Resolution 110/2010, and thereby calls on the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to take all practical steps necessary to ensure that the following six freedoms are protected in Australia within the constraints of the civil and criminal law generally applicable and consistent with Australia’s obligations under international law:
    a. freedom to manifest a religion through religious observance and practice;
    b. freedom to appoint people of faith to organisations run by faith communities;
    c. freedom to teach and uphold moral standards within faith communities;
    d. freedom of conscience to differentiate between right and wrong;
    e. freedom to teach and propagate religion; and
    f. freedom of a person to change their religion.
  3. Affirms that no Anglican school seeks, or intends to seek, the right to expel students or otherwise disadvantage members of their school communities on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, laments the harm caused both among our school communities and the wider community by the propagation of the suggestion to the contrary and confirms the ongoing commitment of Anglican Schools to the inclusion, pastoral care and support of all members of their school communities.
  4. And therefore, calls upon the government formed after the next federal election to give priority to the passage of a national legislation prohibiting religious discrimination, and to do this in such a way that does not harm other people, including LGBTQI+ members of their school communities, or to polarise the wider community on these issues.
  5. Requests the General Secretary to communicate this resolution to Federal, State and Territory Attorneys-General.

The Rt Rev’d Dr Michael Stead moving; Dr Renae Barker seconding



Resolution year: 2022
Resolution number: 88A/18