The Catholic Weekly 15 November 2020

$2 15, November, 2020 Clare Communications Co PTY LTD See our website for more information on our services ADDRESSING A New South Wales parliamentary com- mittee last Friday, Archbish- op Anthony Fisher OP de- fended religious freedom and called for loopholes allowing discrimination against Christians in NSW to be closed. Human rights are not a “zero sum game,” he said. His comments came as he appeared before the Joint Select Commit- tee on the Anti-Discrimina- tion Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020. The private member’s bill garnered significant pub- lic interest, with close to 20,000 submissions made to the inquiry, the over- whelming majority – 13,200 – in favour of the bill. It is currently illegal in New South Wales to dis- criminate against a person on the basis of age, race, disability, sex, sexual orien- tation and gender identity, Archbishop Fisher said. However, he told the MPs, it is not illegal to dis- With a fellow Christian leader, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP addresses state MPs to bat for religious freedom in NSW ¾ ¾ Monica Doumit and Marilyn Rodrigues Standing up for freedom criminate against a per- son on the basis of reli- gious belief or activity; the bill, moved by Mark Latham MLC, would remedy that imbalance by providing equal protections to people of faith. He said it was important that religious organisations be protected as well; un- like many of the other rights protected in anti-discrimi- nation law, religion is unique in that it manifests in com- munity with others. This is primarily through religious worship but also through the operation of “religion-inspired” schools and universities, hospitals and aged care facilities, charity stores and other so- cial welfare agencies, he said. “We’re saying that part of freedom of religion is the freedom to manifest your re- ligion, that is clear in all the international instruments,” the archbishop said. “Religion is not just something you have to keep inside your head and never express or manifest. CONTINUED PAGE 2 KEEPING AN EYE ON LAY MOVEMENTS DO ADVENT: YOU WON’T REGRET IT P16 P18