The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has submitted recommendations to Ruddock’s review of religious freedoms calling for the protection of bakers, florists, and photographers to object to servicing same-sex weddings.

The recommendations also call for faith-based employers to have stronger legal protections in refusing to hire openly gay staff, according to a report by The Australian.

In its 33-page submission, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher claims that religious schools should retain the right to ban LGBTI sex education and be able to stop trans students from wearing uniforms or using toilets that align with their gender identity.

The submission states that there has been a “shift” in attitudes towards religious people.

“For all its talk of tolerance, there are powerful influences in our culture less and less tolerant of religion,” it says.

“There is now a more hard-edge determination to minimise the role of faith in everyday life and exclude it altogether from the public square.

“Examples abound of this lack of tolerance for a religious worldview during the recent marriage debate.”

The submission says section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act should be strengthened to allow a faith-based school to discriminate in employment on the basis of a person’s sexuality or gender identity.

Ruddock’s inquiry, which will hand its findings to the Turnbull government by the end of March, was established during the marriage equality debate.

A petition was recently handed to the inquiry by LGBTI advocates calling for the repeal of all anti-discrimination exemptions that allow LGBTI people to be sacked or refused service by religious schools, hospitals, and welfare agencies.

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