Beware of Legislation Which Offers “Exemptions” For Religious Bodies

As I have demonstrated so often now, the freedoms of the majority are greatly put at risk as we pander to minority group activism. This is specially the case once homosexual marriage is legalised. Indeed, everyone is put at risk once we start heading down this path.

But the activists will insist that homosexual marriage will not impact anyone else, and religious folks need have no fear. Yeah right. My 2014 book Strained Relations offered 165 examples of mainly religious folks being targeted by the heavy hand of the law once homosexual marriage was passed. People lost their jobs, were fined, and even jailed.

But it might homo 98be objected that most of those cases come from overseas, so critics might ask, what do they have to do with Australia? This misses the point of course. In most of the cases above, they have happened after homosexual marriage has been legalised. As I keep insisting, everything changes when we legalise homosexual marriage.

We do not have as many cases here for the simple reason that we don’t have homosexual marriage here – yet. But we do have some cases already where religious bodies and individuals have been targeted and/or discriminated against, and it should be clear by now that if Australia goes ahead with homosexual marriage, there will be plenty more such cases – despite whatever “exemptions” may be on offer. Here are just some of these Australian cases:

“Church camp found guilty of discrimination”
October 10, 2010
“A youth camp owned by the Christian Brethren church has been ordered to pay $5000 compensation for discriminating against a suicide prevention group for young gays.”

“Queensland physician taken to Anti-Discrimination tribunal for writing a pro-marriage article”
October 15, 2011
“I did not think that we lived in an Australia where a disagreement of opinion can result in hauling someone before an anti-discrimination board. This is a country where we agree to disagree. This is a country where a two-sided debate can exist. This is a country where people are not intimidated from sharing their point of view. Or is it? First Andrew Bolt, now David van Gend.” (Senator Ron Boswell)

“Victorian psychiatrist questioned over his stance on gay marriage”
May 13, 2012
“A psychiatrist lobbying against same-sex marriage must explain why he should retain his role on the board of the state’s equal opportunity agency, critics say. Professor Kuruvilla George, who is Victoria’s deputy chief psychiatrist, has signed a submission to a senate inquiry calling for a ban on same-sex marriage.”

“Doctor quits equal rights board after same-sex row”
May 15, 2012
“A member of Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission board has resigned after stirring controversy by signing a petition opposing gay marriage. Professor Kuruvilla George is also the state’s deputy chief psychiatrist and one of a group of 150 doctors who wrote to a Senate inquiry on marriage equality. The doctors’ submission argued children with a mother and father were healthier than children with same-sex parents.”

“Newcastle blogger fined for vilifying homosexuals”
November 28, 2012
“A Newcastle blogger and taxi driver has been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in damages for vilifying homosexuals…. Sunol has been ordered to pay Mr Burns $11,000 compensation. He has also been ordered to issue a written apology.”

“School chaplain sacked over Facebook post calling homosexuality ‘not normal'”
August 8, 2014
“Following a meeting with the Kingborough Council general manager this morning, Mr Williams was also stood down from his role as a youth outreach worker there.” The interesting thing here is he simply quoted a lesbian activist on his own Facebook page, in which she said homosexuality is not normal.

“Anglican church angry over Department of Education banning of ‘one-partner’ material”
May 8, 2015
“Anglican church leaders [NSW] have slammed an “unprecedented” interference by the Department of Education after it banned three books used by the church’s scripture teachers on the basis they promoted only monogamous heterosexual relationships.”

“Kids bullied for traditional values: MP”
June 15, 2015
“Schoolchildren who don’t support gay marriage, homosexuality or gender swapping are being bullied in classrooms and need the protection of the Equal Opportunity Commission, State Government MP Peter Abetz says.”

“Anti-gay pamphlet referred to South Australia police”
June 20, 2015
“A gay hate pamphlet criticising an Adelaide council for flying the rainbow flag in a show of support for gays and lesbians has been referred to police. The pamphlet has been dropped in letterboxes at some homes and distributed at a shopping centre.”

“Tasmanian woman in same sex relationship lodges anti-discrimination complaint against Catholic Church booklet template”
September 28, 2015
“A Tasmanian woman is taking the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart to the Anti-Discrimination Commission over a booklet about same sex marriage.”

If all this is happening now in Australia, how much more of this will we see when homosexual marriage becomes legalised? We simply have to look overseas to find the answer to that question. We see there how useless all these safeguards and “exemptions” have been.

Of course many of these new laws pay lip service to things like exceptions and exemptions, but we should understand that the majority of activists who have pushed for these laws have made it clear that they want no exemptions whatsoever. Quite often however allowances will be made at first simply to get a bill voted through.

Those who think that special rights for homosexuals – including the right to marriage – can be granted with everything remaining the same are just kidding themselves. Everything changes. An important article by Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George highlights the folly of thinking compromise can be achieved here. He is worth quoting at length:

The fundamental error made by some supporters of conjugal marriage was and is, I believe, to imagine that a grand bargain could be struck with their opponents: “We will accept the legal redefinition of marriage; you will respect our right to act on our consciences without penalty, discrimination, or civil disabilities of any type. Same-sex partners will get marriage licenses, but no one will be forced for any reason to recognize those marriages or suffer discrimination or disabilities for declining to recognize them.” There was never any hope of such a bargain being accepted.

Perhaps parts of such a bargain would be accepted by liberal forces temporarily for strategic or tactical reasons, as part of the political project of getting marriage redefined; but guarantees of religious liberty and non-discrimination for people who cannot in conscience accept same-sex marriage could then be eroded and eventually removed. After all, “full equality” requires that no quarter be given to the “bigots” who want to engage in “discrimination” (people with a “separate but equal” mindset) in the name of their retrograde religious beliefs. “Dignitarian” harm must be opposed as resolutely as more palpable forms of harm….

The lesson, it seems to me, for those of us who believe that the conjugal conception of marriage is true and good, and who wish to protect the rights of our faithful and of our institutions to honor that belief in carrying out their vocations and missions, is that there is no alternative to winning the battle in the public square over the legal definition of marriage. The “grand bargain” is an illusion we should dismiss from our minds.

All over the West these sorts of laws are being used, and they are all rather sneaky. They will speak about “exemptions” for religious bodies, but then define what that means so narrowly that basically no one is safe. Thus a Sunday school class may fall afoul of the law. A Bible study held in a home, conducted by the pastor, might not be safe. And plenty of other religious bodies (schools, bookstores, etc) will not be safe. So what we have here is a war on religion.

For these and other reasons we should not be heading down the path of having the State determine what religious bodies are allowed to do in terms of hiring personnel, and so on. But more importantly, these debates about “exemptions” and the like cannot take place without the larger debate about how the legalisation of homosexual marriage impacts everyone, resulting in a major assault on our freedoms, especially our religious freedoms.

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19 Replies to “Beware of Legislation Which Offers “Exemptions” For Religious Bodies”

  1. The Senate is just about to discuss same-sex marriage legislation and their Exposure Draft (whatever that means) includes exemptions for ministers of religion (

    But why do we need exemptions? The Commonwealth gives people authority to solemnise marriages but there is no requirement that they actually do so. The authorised celebrant gets to choose if they will exercise that authority or not. Therefore the exemption is saying that you don’t have to do what you don’t have to do in the first place which doesn’t really make sense.

    What the inclusion of exemptions really says is that there are people who cannot accept other’s disagreeing with them and saying “no” to their requests, and that because of this they’ll intentionally, deliberately attempt to cause problems for such people.

    Actually the exemptions demonstrate the sinners don’t like to be told that their sin is sin, and perhaps if the churches publically said sin is sin a bit more often perhaps people would get used to it?

    BTW if I started complaining that Hungry Jacks wouldn’t sell me a Big Mac or that my Holden dealer wouldn’t sell me a new Ford I’d be told to stop being stupid. If the hat fits ….

  2. Agree totally, Bill. The trajectory of the whole approach means that the exemptions, which may mean little initially, will mean nothing further down the track. If the law is a good one (it isn’t but assume it is), then there should be no exemptions. The problem is there at the foundation.

  3. They are bestowing onto children a deviation of the norm, and 4-5ylds can see that. Those children will then see, feel and live ‘outside the norm’ at least until the end of their adolescent years, then they will try to fit in. Nearly all will struggle at best. That isn’t parenting.

    God Bless Bill.

  4. Of course…Freedom of thought, speech and religion and other freedoms are human rights. When people exercise their right to speak up, they are exercising a fundamental human right, not an “exemption” to anti-discrimination laws. This fundamental right applies to all people, not just ministers of religion. As with any basic, human right, it must be protected for everyone. These people showing no remorse for their sins think everyone else was born yesterday that is why they are attacking children the way they are just goes to show how wayward they have become! Is this not right Bill? Thank you by the way!!

  5. Anyone with half a brain can see the devastation this ideology is causing and if such humans that are causing all this trouble had half a brain it would be very lonely!

    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

    “For the simple are killed by their turning away,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;” Proverbs 1:32

    “O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O fools, learn sense. Hear,
    for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,” Proverbs 8:5-6

    “Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.” Proverbs 11:29

    We know what people who practice homosexuality and their cronies are not!
    Never mind that in the end they will be serving us, apologising for all the trouble they have caused Christians and for what their sinful actions have done to God’s good creation!!

  6. Hi Bill,
    This bloke was on the ball.
    Cost him his life though.
    I don’t think he`ll mind if you quote him?
    Cicero, circa 45 B.C.
    “ A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.
    An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly.
    But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through the alleys,
    heard in the very halls of government itself.
    For the traitor appears not a traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their
    Face and their garments , and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
    He rots the soul of a nation , he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city ,
    he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
    A murderer is less to be feared. “
    ? Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman orator and statesman , circa 45 B.C.

    Terry McDonnell Wa

  7. Presumably you have submitted this to the Inquiry, Bill?? (It’s what I’ve been trying to pull together for days!! You have such a gift! Thank you.)

  8. My position, which I will proclaim at every opportunity, is that once legislators start talking about exemptions for religious bodies, they are admitting that the proposed law is contrary to Christian conscience, and therefore immoral, because it is the word of God which is the ultimate guide to morality.

  9. So a ‘religious organisation’ is exempt but not an individual who holds the same beliefs. Or am I missing something here?

  10. The natural family has been the basis of human rights for all time. As soon as you say the family is an artificial construct you are saying that all children are effectively wards of the state which also means all people are subject to the state. Instead of a democracy where the government is supposed to reflect the people the people are forced to reflect whatever the elites in the government decree. This, of course, is one of the major failings of socialism and communism but we have not learned our lessons. What this means is that parents have little or no say about what happens with their children including as we have seen through the sexualisation of children through supposed sex education programs. Redefining marriage actually completely undermine human rights because instead of natural families being essentially autonomous, as long as they obey basic laws, families actually become legal constructs as determined and controlled by the state.

    The really big problem with redefining marriage is that it means society is forced to take the side of immorality over morality. There simply is no middle ground as you, Bill, have correctly pointed out. Taking the new secularist view to the modern extreme where the facts behind whether something is or is not moral are not allowed to be considered, inevitably this means that people are not allowed to impose their morality on other people but however, immoral people are free to impose as much immorality as they like on others. The shear hypocrisy of this perspective is mind blowing but while people think secularism means all views must be treated equally instead of what it originally meant which was that all views can be considered but people have the right to make up their own minds and implement their views democratically, this sort of hypocrisy and immorality is inevitable.

  11. Hi Bill
    Thank you for your articles. In response to the submissions to the senate enquiry I went on to their website and it said 7 submissions have been received so I hope people are sending it to the correct address. I’m not overly computer savvy so I could be wrong

    Thanks again Bill

  12. @ Michael Weeks

    As soon as you say the family is an artificial construct you are saying that all children are effectively wards of the state which also means all people are subject to the state.

    Exactly, in the 1990s, the government abolished the name ‘Department of Social Security’, because the movement which now known as LGBTIQ doesn’t want society to be secure, with life-long natural families whose parents have a natural, healthy and faithful sex life. The dictators’ goal is to break down the natural family, and end up with a nation of individuals, all directly linked to the central government, hence the name ‘Centrelink’.

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