• Hannah Phillips

Religious discrimination not finished with Folau

The case of Rugby Australia verses Israel Folau has come to a close with a confidential settlement amount reached this week, over a biblical text shared on social media. Mr Martyn Iles the director of the Australian Christian Lobby said ‘the effect that this case is having will continue, …there is a principle that has been set'.

‘If you are a Rugby Australia of this world, or a Qantas, or a big corporate, or someone of that nature, you can’t simply end someone’s career simply because you don’t like what they have said’ Mr Iles said.

Religious Discrimination in Australia has been high on the Morrison Government’s agenda with the draft exposure bill being delayed until February 2020, giving time for groups to contribute further submissions. 

Traditional values held by those of faith have increasingly being regarded as politically incorrect. Another sporting icon Margaret Court’s achievement’s in tennis were not equally honoured by Tennis Australia, due to her religious viewpoints on marriage.  

Mr Iles said ‘Tennis Australia is a sporting body, why is there a political test to involvement with Tennis Australia, when they are about promoting sport, they're not about promoting politics, they're not about promoting religion, it's sport, people of all religions and all cultures and all faiths and all sexualities come together to play sport and they should be able to say and believe what they like in that endeavour.’ 

‘Tennis Australia is much like Rugby Australia in the sense that they don’t get that. They're losing site of what actual diversity is, especially in the sporting arena.’

Israel Folau’s case made media headlines. There are other cases of religious discrimination in Australia. Martyn Iles said ‘[people] are losing their jobs, they are losing their professional accreditation, they are not climbing the ladder in their respective professional fields, they are being excluded from university campuses.'

‘What Israel Folau did, to fight a case for all Australians, to draw a line in the sand like this, was a brilliant thing to do.’

Listen to the full radio interview below.

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