Proposed amendments to Northern Territory 1992 anti-discrimination legislation are set to abolish religious freedom, as well as erode freedom of speech.
The bill, sponsored by NT Labor Attorney-General, and LGBTQ+ activist Chanston Paech, ‘will narrow or remove a number of exemptions for religious bodies in the areas of education, work, and accommodation.’
Clause 15 of the proposed bill seeks to eliminate the right of religious organizations to operate within the boundaries of their faith, conscience, and creed, by removing from these organizations the right to ‘operate in accordance with their religious beliefs.’
Clause 15. Section 30 amendment (Exemptions)
This clause omits section 30(2) which currently allows an educational authority that operates, or proposes to operate, an educational institution in accordance with a particular religion, to exclude applicants who are not of that religion. This effect of removing this exemption is that educational authorities that operate or propose to operate, an educational institution in accordance with a religion will no longer be permitted to exclude applicants on the basis theyare not of that religion.
Clause 17 doubles down, removing the rights of Churches, missions, and Christian schools to hire staff based on shared goals, beliefs, and values.
Christian schools will ‘no longer be permitted to “discriminate” when employing staff on the basis of sexuality or religious belief or activity.’
Clause 17. Section 37A repealed (Exemption – religious educational institutions)
This clause omits section 37A which currently provides an exemption for religious educational institutions in the area of work on the grounds of religious belief or activity and sexuality if done in good faith to avoid offending the religious sensitivities of people of the particular religion. The effect of the exemption is that religious educational institutions are no longer permitted to discriminate when employing staff on the basis of sexuality or religious belief or activity, just as they cannot discriminate in the area of work based on other protected attributes.
The proposal means Christian schools and churches will be forced to fill a vacancy on the grounds of weaponized Pro-LGBTQ+ government directives, and not whether that person was suitable for the role or fit for the job.
Based on the extreme proposal, the government gets to dictate to Christian organizations who they hire, who they can fire, and on what grounds they can do so.
Seen elsewhere in the world, the LGBTQ+ activist amendments also potentially harm parental rights. The suggested removals place parents in the firing line by removing legal protections for dissent, if mums and dads were to oppose state-backed LGBTQ+ indoctrination of their children.
Should a Drag Queen, or member of the “Church” of Satan decide to teach in a Christian school, there would be no solid legal ground for that Christian school to reasonably refuse employment.
Tacked onto NT Labor’s amendments to the 1992 anti-discrimination act are vague protections for the perpetually offended.
After smashing freedom of religion, the amendments attack freedom of speech, with Section 20A banning any public behaviour perceived to be offensive – such as comedy, commentary, or criticism on social media – that is:
“Reasonably likely to, in all circumstances, offend, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and is done because of an attribute of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.” (PDF)
Subsection 3 of 20A ‘does not apply to an act done in private.’
Section 3 defines an act as:
“Causes, words, sounds, images or writing communicated in public or done in a public place; or is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public place.”
Exempted from Section 20A is anything, and anyone deemed to be acting ‘reasonably, in good faith,’ or in the ‘public’s interest.’
Such as artistic works, performances, exhibitions; any statement, publication, or debate from any ‘genuine academic,’ or artistic, scientific, endeavor, or any publishing that is fair, and accurate.
Promoting the overreach, an online LGBTQ+ news site argued that the proposed banning of ‘religious institutions from refusing to hire or [for] sacking staff [who identify as] LGBTQI,’ was just the beginning in the fight for so-called “equality.”
The Independent Education Union is backing the repeal of the religious freedom exemptions.
“The removal of these exemptions is long overdue […] religious discrimination exemptions are unnecessary and cause harm to vulnerable staff and students.”
The Teachers Union representative declared – with the clear tone of contempt:
“Practices in faith-based schools, and indeed in any endeavour conducted for the public by faith-based organisations, should reflect community standards and expectations – especially when such organisations are in receipt of public funds.”
Speaking on behalf of the Union, and its alleged 17,000-plus members in the Northern Territory and Queensland, he said,
“Our union sees the introduction of the proposed Bill as a significant step towards fostering inclusion and we welcome [it!]”
In addition to this, while asserting so-called LGBTQ+ civil rights, Burke justified religious schools being stripped of their civil liberties.
Should the bill pass, hiring an employee on merit will be replaced with a woke quota system, where NGOs are forced to hire an employee based on their shade of melanin, sexual activity, and subsequent identity.
This probable outcome proves the NT Labor amendments are about achieving the exact opposite.
What this bill does is exalt a minority as lord over the majority.
What this bill leaves behind is a molly-coddled, authoritarian political class, whose special rights mean other groups can have none.
Disguised as protecting the minority who identify as LGBTQ+, the NT attorney general’s (clearly biased) proposal, weaponizes the law, unlocking a door for activists in government, like Chanston Paech, to discriminate against anyone who does not tow the party line.
In this instance, it’s bullying Christians into subservience, by unfairly demanding their submission.
Note the timing of this news from the NT follows the New Zealand Labour, and Greens cabal, who, supported by the Maori Party, passed compelled speech legislation, moving NZ closer towards replacing free speech with forced speech.
As I’ve argued in the past (see here), where civil ‘rights’ are exalted over civil liberties, hell on earth is sure to follow.