Because the NSW Discrimination Act has ridiculous exemptions in place to enable religious organisations to discriminate against people on the grounds of gender, the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal has confirmed that in that state, religious organisations are free to simply ban gays from being foster parents.
Cardinal Pell could hardly contain his glee, breaking out his special “now I get to put people I don’t know down for stupid reasons” smirk.
The Tribunal suggested parliament should review the law. As the Council of Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy argued:
Churches who receive taxpayers money to provide services for the state – as was increasingly the case – should no longer be exempt from discrimination laws.
“It’s outrageous,” he said. “If a non-religious organisation tried to do this they would be in breach of the law. If they want to run a foster care agency they ought to be looking after the best interests of the child, not trying to push their religion on the community.”
Exactly – why should taxpayer money (and gay people are taxpayers) be used to discriminate against other citizens?
And again we see the real problem with governments outsourcing their social obligations to private organisations, here relying on churches to find foster care, provide orphanages, hospitals and charities. In my line of work, people charged with drug offences are often given the choice of jail or doing a rehab program run by a religious group – and one which takes advantage of them at a vulnerable time in their life to heavily indoctrinate them while they’re stuck there.
This is wrong. These are all things the state should be providing from our taxes. And if it did, it could bloody well tax religious organisations appropriately without them being able to blackmail it on the basis of the necessary services that they presently supply.
I’m absolutely sick of the state having to pander to “ignorant medievalism” (the phrase of one of the commenters on the News Ltd story) because it won’t do its damn job.
*Discriminating against a couple because they’re gay is discrimination on gender, since you’re discriminating on the basis that one of them isn’t a woman or a man.