The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly has made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry into freedom of speech in Australia which is looking specifically at whether changes are needed to the Racial Discrimination Act. The Assembly does not believe that Sections 18C and 18D pose unreasonable restrictions on freedom of speech and should not be changed.
UnitingJustice Australia has sent a Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade - Human Rights Sub-committee on Australian advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty.
UnitingJustice Australia is extremely concerned that a plebiscite on same-sex marriage in Australia will be socially divisive and even harmful. UnitingJustice recommends that a plebiscite not be held and that a decision on the matter be made by the Federal Parliament.
UnitingJustice has made a submission to the Human Rights Commissioner's Consultation into Rights and Responsibilities. This submission highglights the restrictions that current legislation places on the human rights and freedoms of vulnerable groups in Australia, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, refugees and asylum seekers and adherents of religions other than Christianity.
The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly has submitted comments to the Attorney General’s Department on the Exposure Draft of the proposed legislation to amend the Racial Discrimination Act. The Church strongly believes that the proposed Bill should be rejected in its entirety.
In light of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013, UnitingJustice wrote to the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General expressing its support for the removal of exceptions for religious organisations.
UnitingJustice welcomes the release of the Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 and its commitment to key international human rights treaties to which Australia is a signatory. UnitingJustice reccomends the bill be passed, but has also proposed improvements.
UnitingJustice welcomes the proposed creation of the role of a National Children’s Commissioner. However, it believes the current role does not go far enough to protect the rights of children and young people. UnitingJustice proposes several changes to the National Children’s Commissioner Bill.
The Uniting Church believes that all people must be equal before the law, and that the Bills proposed balance the rights associated with freedom of religion with the rights of non-discrimination and equality.