Keep Prayers in the House

Eligibility - Queensland residents
Principal Petitioner:
Wendy Francis
53 Prospect Road
Total Signatures - 5,405
Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament
Posting Date: 8/6/2021
Closing Date: 15/6/2021
Tabled Date: 16/6/2021
Responded By: Hon Steven Miles MP on 19/7/2021
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that the practice of opening each sitting day of the Legislative Assembly is a right and proper acknowledgement of Australia’s legal and cultural heritage which has been decisively shaped by a Christian ethos that continues to foster our free and prosperous democracy. Our constitution opens with the words, “Humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God”. The practice of saying prayers is a longstanding and non-partisan tradition which re-affirms parliamentarians’ commitment to the common good of Australia. Our Indigenous heritage is also rightly recognised. Australia was founded with the principle of separation of church and state but it was never intended to keep religious ideas, people or prayers out of public life. It has been proven that there is no constitutional impediment to the existing practice of parliamentary prayers in Australia. In particular, Section 116 of the constitution has been shown not to support any claim of unconstitutionality.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to continue the tradition of opening parliament with the saying of a Christian prayer, and not order this to cease.