Legal Protections for Religion Are Protections for Us All

Commentary Unless we are vigilant, Australians will soon find that any public declaration or practice of an explicitly religious viewpoint—particularly a Christian one—whether in relation to gender, sexuality, euthanasia, or even history, will be condemned as harmful hate speech. And that condemnation is likely to become ever more bitter. For as things stand, there is very little protection for religion in Australian law. Section 116 of the Constitution only sets a limit on what the federal government can do, and the states and territories have only a patchwork of inconsistent protections for religion in the form of exemptions to discrimination laws. This is a key reason why the Morrison government is taking action on the prime minister’s 2019 election promise to legislate protections for religion. Attorney-General Michaelia Cash, is reportedly close to finalising the government’s Religious Discrimination Bill in order to present the draft to parliament by the end of …

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Johny Watshon

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