“FamilyVoice Australia does not advocate discrimination against persons on the basis of their mental or physical health, despite the implication of news reports today,” said FamilyVoice National Director Ashley Saunders.

“We have absolutely no desire to exclude disabled persons.

“Our policy submission raises concerns about problematic behaviours, not disability status.

“We hold the view that it would be most unhelpful if a religious organisation had no option but to engage someone in a public role who (for example), struggled with uncontrollable urges to loudly vocalise profanity or sexually explicit phraseology that would upset family worship services,” he said.

“I hasten to point out that our staff members have a very long and positive association with people who have quite serious mental health challenges.”