The Catholic Weekly 12 September 2021

$2 NSW is lagging behind and people of faith in this state have waited long enough for equal treatment under anti- discrimination laws” Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP FAITH AND civic leaders and law experts are not im- pressed that the New South Wales Government will not outlaw religious discrimina- tion until at least next year, af- ter decades of waiting for the much-needed reform. The state’s Attorney Gener- al Mark Speakman last week announced that the govern- ment will introduce a bill to make the amendment to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), but not until the Commonwealth Government passes its own law to protect against discrimination based on religious belief or activity. Currently every jurisdiction in Australia except for NSW and South Australia already includes religion to the exist- ing protected grounds of disa- bility, sex, race, age, or marital or domestic status. Last September a parlia- mentary survey confirmed overwhelming public support for extending anti-discrimina- tion laws in New South Wales to protect religious believers and organisations, with strong support for a private mem- ber’s bill introduced by Mark LathamMLC in May 2020. Archbishop Anthony Fish- er OP, who had addressed a joint select committee inquiry on that Bill last November, said he was disappointed that the Government has not fol- lowed the Committee’s rec- ommendation to act by the end of this year. “[It has] instead chosen to delay even working on a bill until after the passage of a Federal Religious Discrimi- nation Act, [which] is particu- larly disappointing,” the arch- bishop said. “It has been three years since the Ruddock Review recommended that the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act be amended to provide protec- tion for religious believers, and indeed more than 20 years since the same recom- mendation was made by the New South Wales Law Reform Commission. “They did not need to wait for the federal parliament to act. “NSW is lagging behind, and people of faith in this state have waited long enough for equal treatment under an- ti-discrimination laws. “Close to 20,000 people participated in the inquiry re- lating to this Bill in good faith, with close to 75 per cent of those offering support for it to be passed. “They are entitled to expect that their support for the Bill will be heeded, particular- ly given it was backed by the Committee.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘You Christians wait’ Jesus’s followers aren’t entitled to freedom fromdiscrimination - yet - says NSWAttorney General ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues LIFE CAN take some pret- ty unexpected turns. Mercy Sister Mary Lily knows what that’s like. Now a novice with the Sis- ters of Mercy of Alma, Michi- gan, the 24 year-old never im- agined when she was an arts and law student at the Univer- sity of Notre Dame Australia’s Broadway campus in Sydney that one day she would be returning as a religious sister and as a member of the chap- laincy team. But that’s the picture for the student who was previously known as Sarah Lovegrove. Her own journey of faith has been influenced by Mass-go- ing student friends, universi- ty chaplaincy members and encountering the Sisters of Mercy. And so far, she says, the journey has been ... great! STORY P5 Student returns ... as a chaplain 12, September, 2021 FOR STUDENT EXCELLENCE 2021 ARCHBISHOP’S AWARDs S p e c i a l o n l i n e p u b l i c a t i o n 1 0 S e p t emb e r 2 0 2 1 S t u d e n t E x c e l l e n c e THE HOUSE OF YES TO GOD P3 HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE ONLINE P12 Life and health From student to Sister to chaplain: Sr Mary Lily at Notre Dame’s Broadway campus this week. PHOTO: GIOVANNI PORTELLI