Christian Brethren challenged

Christian Brethren challenged

An anti-discrimination case set to challenge the rights of religious groups to discriminate against gay and lesbian people will be heard in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal this week.

The WayOut Project rural youth group lodged a case against the Christian Brethren, owners of Phillip Island Adventure Resort, two years ago after being refused use of the resort camping facilities.

The case is set to start on July 7 and is expected to run for around 15 days.

WayOut claims the Christian Brethren resort owners discriminated against them because of their sexuality when they refused to accept a booking for their camp in June 2007.

The camp was a suicide prevention initiative for same-sex attracted youth from rural areas who may have experienced homophobic harassment in their home towns.

In 2008 Christian Youth Camps general manager Glyn Mahon told The Sunday Age the resort had refused the group use of the facilities because their Christian faith meant they did not support the “promotion of homosexuality”.

Victorian Parliament passed the Equal Opportunity Bill in April this year which narrowed some provisions in which religious groups and organisations could discriminate on religious grounds, however, sexuality and marital status were not included.

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