Greens Want Ruddock Off The Religious Freedom Panel

Greens call on Phillip Ruddock to resign from religious freedoms review panel
due to conflict of interest

Following his appointment as NSW Liberal Party president, the Greens have called on Phillip Ruddock to step down or be stood down by the PM as the chair of the government’s expert panel into religious freedoms due to conflict of interest.

“Philip Ruddock becoming NSW Liberal President makes his position as chair of the Religious Freedom Review untenable,” said Senator Nick McKim, the Greens justice spokesperson.

“It is evidence of clear political bias and gives the lie to any claim of independence.”

“He should immediately offer his resignation from the Review panel, and if he doesn’t, Mr Turnbull should sack him.”

“This review was set up while the Coalition tore itself apart over the issue of religious freedoms during the marriage equality debate,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ spokesperson.

“There’s certainly room for a conversation about freedom of thought, religion and conscience in this country, but we must make sure these don’t come at the expense of other rights and freedoms from discrimination,”

“This issue is particularly keenly felt by our LGBTIQ communities, who are still subject to a number of state and federal laws that allow discrimination by religious and faith-based bodies.”

“Ruddock’s new position with the NSW Liberals undermines any intent for the review to provide unbiased advice to the Government.”

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)