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New Family First push for religious vaccination exemption

Former Labor minister turned centre-right upper house candidate Tom Kenyon

The re-launched Family First party in South Australia has pledged to introduce legislation to parliament to allow an exemption to COVID-19 vaccines on religious grounds.

The party's lead candidate in the upper house, former Labor MP Tom Kenyon, says if elected he will immediately bring religious freedom legislation before the parliament, saying:

"People of good will can have different views on whether to take the vaccine - personally I am vaccinated and so is my family.
"But when governments punish good people because of their faith-based decision not to be vaccinated, then action must be taken."
"Under Family First's Religious Freedom Bill, South Australians of faith would be able to use an exemption based on their conscience." 

More broadly, Mr Kenyon explained that the Family First bill would ensure "religious freedoms were safeguarded". 

"The rights of religious organisations to practise their religion freely, and employ staff that hold the same values, need to be protected.
"The bill will not seek to change current protections to students from discrimination."

Family First relaunched as a political party in SA last year, after merging with former Liberal senator Cory Bernardi's fledgling Australian Conservatives in 2017, which itself folded in 2019 after an underwhelming federal election performance.