Following up last month’s action before the joint Parliamentary committee, the next step was to press the secular case before the Senate committee that was considering the legal implications of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and Related Bills. DDU reinforced its previous argument with a submission (No. 126) pointing to the dangers of religious cults gaining more privileges.

Humanists Victoria made its own submission on 6 January 2022 (No. 106), again urging the committee to recommend throwing the proposed Bill out. The Bill was a very convoluted attempt to formulate religious anti-discrimination law and at the same time to make religious exemptions. This time we emphasized that there was a better way. Instead of having separate anti-discrimination Acts, most of the difficulties would be ironed out if they were consolidated under a comprehensive Commonwealth charter of rights. Australia is sorely in need of a charter of rights.

Other kindred bodies have lodged submissions to this Senate committee: Sydney Atheists, No. 90; Humanists Australia, No. 116; National Secular Lobby, No. 134.

Stephen Stuart, Acting Secretary

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