Articles on Religious freedom

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The marriage equality debate raised questions of religious freedom that have yet to be resolved. Danny Casey (AAP)/Shutterstock

The Coalition’s record on social policy: big on promises, short on follow-through

The government is spruiking its commitment to religious freedom and freedom of speech, as well as its successes on tackling inequality. Its record, however, leaves much to be desired.
Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault on the campaign trail last September before the election that saw his party form a majority government.

In Québec, Christian liberalism becomes the religious authority

The language of the neutral and secular state in Bill 21, like its precursors, presumes an invisible Christian default for the rules around public expressions of religiosity.
Students walk past a cross on campus at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., in February 2017. The school was at the centre of a court battle pitting equality rights against freedom of religion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The legal conflict between equality rights and freedom of religion

We must acknowledge that shifting historically vulnerable groups away from the margins means making room in spaces where these groups have not traditionally been welcomed.
For many Muslim women, a hijab is a way of expressing resistance. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Why do Muslim women wear a hijab?

Hijab is not simply about religion – women wear it for a variety of reasons.
The area of greater uncertainty under Labor is a very different one – that is, how much of the unions’ agenda a Shorten government would be willing to embrace. Daniel Pockett/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Unions likely to be more challenging for a Shorten government than boats

In the lead up to next week's ALP national conference, which Shorten needs to run smoothly, the government has been trying to exploit what it sees as a Labor weak point – border protection.
Ontario PC leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen arrives to participate in a debate in Ottawa in February 2018. Granic Allen was supported by the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), and the organization said it recruited more than 9,000 PC memberships in support of her campaign to became the premier of Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

From America to Ontario: The political impact of the Christian right

Christian right groups in Canada may not have the same resources as their American counterparts. They are, nonetheless, attracting supporters by borrowing some U.S. tactics.
The free trade agreement with Indonesia, which Australia originally. hoped would be signed this week when Morrison was in Singapore for the start of the summit season, has become hostage to the embassy decision. Mick Tskias/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Morrison government brings back memories of McMahon days

The fundamental point is that those were desperate days for the Coalition and so are these. "McMahon was in survival mode," says author Patrick Mullins. The same could be said of Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced he will amend laws that allow schools to expel gay students. Joel Carrett/AAP

There’s no argument or support for allowing schools to discriminate against LGBTIQ teachers

Public opinion polls and a survey of Australian youth show there's little support for allowing schools to hire or fire teachers based on their sexual orientation.
Campaigning in Wentworth, Liberal candidate Dave Sharma, appearing at a candidates’ forum, denounced discrimination against teachers, and said the 2013 law should be changed. Dean Lewins/AAP

View from The Hill: Conservatives may come to regret stirring hornets’ nest of religious freedom

Some Liberals who agitated for action on religious freedom might be starting to appreciate that the best stand for a conservative can sometimes be to just leave things alone.
Announcements are pouring out in what is already a faux election campaign, with the government at the weekend unveiling nearly $52 million to Headspace for youth mental health. David Mariuz/AAP

Coalition trails 47-53% in Newspoll, as Ipsos finds 74% oppose law discriminating against gay students and teachers

The latest national polls come just days out from Saturday's Wentworth byelection, which will determine whether the Coalition is forced into minority government.
The Ruddock report recommends the existing right of religious schools to turn away LGBT+ students and teachers be maintained, but that further constraints be added. Shutterstock

Ruddock report constrains, not expands, federal religious exemptions

The report affirms that religious freedom is not to be legally entrenched as superior to rights to equality and freedom from discrimination.
Demonstrators take part in a protest against Quebec’s proposed Values Charter in Montreal in September 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

New premier, same old story: Québec’s longtime anti-niqab efforts

If Quebec's new premier succeeds in passing 'secularization' legislation by wielding the notwithstanding clause, it will come at the cost of civil rights and the protective capacity of the Charter.
Morrison’s brush strokes on his own portrait are designed to create the image of a leader tuned to the voters’ concerns, rather than the “Canberra bubble”. Lukas Coch/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Morrison aims to make agility his prime ministerial trademark

Morrison is tactically quicker than Turnbull, just as in his messaging he can cut through more sharply. He's more attuned to the emotional and knee-jerk drivers of today's politics.
President Donald Trump with pastor Paula White during a dinner for evangelical leaders in the White House, on Aug. 27, 2018. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

This 19th-century argument over federal support for Christianity still resonates

President Trump has promised to protect religious liberty. But there was a time when evangelicals believed that a religion that needed protection from government had no reason to exist at all.

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