Review of religious freedoms to be released by year's end

October 11, 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will release all the recommendations of the Ruddock review of religious freedom before the end of the year, along with the government’s response.

The Conservative Party's Queensland Senate candidate Lyle Shelton says he's concerned that the question of whether or not religious schools should be given the power to ban same-sex-attracted children and teachers is being introduced by same-sex marriage advocates.

As The Australian revealed today, cabinet will deliberate over a proposal for a religious discrimination act, as the Morrison government faces a damaging backlash ahead of the crucial Wentworth by-election following disputed claims the schools could be handed new powers to turn away same-sex attracted minors.

The proposed legislation, a leaked key recommendation in the Ruddock review, is viewed within the Morrison government as a way to end Coalition infighting and allay fears among religious groups following the divisive same-sex marriage debate.

Liberal MPs who backed same-sex marriage including Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson and Dean Smith — the architect of the enabling legislation — have indicated they are open to a religious discrimination act so long as the measure is not seen as the introduction of a bill of rights by stealth.

Then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull appointed Liberal Party elder Mr Phillip Ruddock (pictured) to chair a federal review into religious freedom following the same-sex marriage postal survey last year, amid concern from religious and conser­vative groups that the legalisation of same-sex marriage could infringe upon their ­religious freedoms.

Mr Shelton has told Andrew Bolt on Sky News, it's about behaviour not inclination.

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