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No prayers in Parliament

Eligibility - Queensland residents

Principal Petitioner:

Frank Jordan
PO Box 5176

Total Signatures - 532

Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament

Posting Date: 16/12/2016

Closing Date: 15/06/2017

Tabled Date: 16/06/2017

Responded By: Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP on 14/07/2017

TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that a prayer is recited during Parliament.

  • The Queensland Constitution does not state that Queensland is a Christian state.
  • Our secular system of government requires separation of church and state.
  • Prayers during Parliament are imposing the beliefs of one religion in an elected public forum. This compromises government impartiality.
  • Taxpayers don't expect to pay elected representatives to say prayers during Parliament.
  • A Christian prayer may be inappropriate to MPs, parliamentary staff and citizens of other faiths, or none.
  • Census results show the decrease of Christianity and an increase of non-Christian religions in Australia. Why does Parliament publicly favour Christian over non-Christian religions?
  • Census results show increasing numbers of Australians have no religion. Only 5% of Australians regularly attend church services and less than 30% of weddings are performed in churches.
  • The Canadian Supreme Court in 2015 ruled unanimously that Saguenay Council reciting a prayer during official meetings is unlawful.

The judgement said the state must "remain neutral" in matters of religious belief.

"This neutrality requires that the state neither favour nor hinder any particular belief, and the same holds true for non-belief. It requires that the state abstain from taking any position and thus avoid adhering to a particular belief."

Your petitioners therefore request the House to remove religious prayers from all parliamentary business thereby confirming government impartiality in matters of religious belief.