In the Australian state of Victoria, religious employers are allowed to discriminate in employment where demanded by the inherent requirements of the job. In practice, this is likely to mean that the Catholic Church can insist on male priests - no female priest could consistently uphold the Church's doctrine that only a man can exercise the function of Christ in transmuting the bread and wine, or whatever, exactly, the relevant doctrine is. It is likely to mean that a Catholic teacher employed specifically to teach the Church's miserable doctrines about sexual sin could not expect to hold the job if he or she were openly acting in defiance of those doctrines. Presumably the Black Muslims could insist on a black priest, and a white supremacist cult could insist on a suitably blond and blue-eyed priest or whatever its nutty doctrines demanded.
We could have an interesting discussion about whether these sorts of exceptions are justifiable. They certainly give the various churches and sects considerable scope to discriminate. In any event, folks, that's the current state of the law ... but some of these people are never satisfied.
The religious lobbies in Victoria have pushed for much wider exemptions from anti-discrimination law, and the recently-elected Liberal (i.e. conservative) government is all too willing to comply. It looks like legislation will be enacted that goes far beyond pastoral positions, or those involved in moral teaching or public advocacy, or whatever other areas might come under the "inherent requirements of the job" test, to allow the churches and sects to run enterprises that openly and pretty much freely discriminate in employment.
This is advocated on the grounds of freedom of religion. But hang on, anti-discrimination laws are not enacted for the purpose of suppressing religions. Moreover, that can't even be the effect - not even a collateral effect - as long as there is an "inherent requirements of the job" test in place. The core work of churches and sects, including public advocacy of their respective doctrines, can go on with no real impediment from anti-discrimination law. Once we move beyond pastoral positions and others that are particularly sensitive for whatever reasons - positions where agreeing with, and being seen to agree with, the doctrines concerned really is needed to perform the job competently, safely, and with the employer's trust (which shouldn't be withheld unreasonably by ordinary standards) - where's the problem?
Well, I suppose the problem is that conformity to the law may be inconvenient for religion-sponsored enterprises. It might be easier and "nicer" to have a workplace where everyone from the CEO to the gardener thinks the same things and acts, even in private life, in accordance with the same canons of conduct.
But all enterprises experience a certain amount of inconvenience from obeying the law. Inconvenience does not trump public policy.
Religious or religion-sponsored enterprises don't have any more claim than anyone else to be able to do things in whatever way is most convenient to them, even where it undermines the secular purpose for which a law is enacted. Once churches and sects move into the secular labour market, they should meet the same employment standards as anyone else. Those standards can even include the same flexibility as everyone else gets - the inherent requirements of the job test gives some flexibility to ordinary businesses in various circumstances, as well - but why should religious enterprises get special privileges?