Government delays religious freedom bill

The Government promised last year to unveil a new bill to protect religious people from discrimination (Bigstock)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s key initiatives to protect religious freedom have been put off until after the federal election. Source: The Australian.

The Government, however, will today launch a review of laws allowing religious institutions to discriminate against gay students.

Mr Morrison promised last year to unveil a new bill to protect religious people from discrimination and to appoint a freedom of religion commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission. The reforms were part of the Coalition’s response to a review led by Philip Ruddock.

Attorney-General Christian Porter told The Australian the religious discrimination bill was “well advanced” but “not at the point of readiness”. “It remains clear government policy and, if re-elected, one of the first orders of business would be to pursue that legislation,” he said.

Mr Porter will today launch a 12-month inquiry by the Australian Law Reform Commission into religious exemptions in anti-discrimination legislation.

It will consider what changes should be made to limit or remove religious exemptions in anti-discrimination laws, while also guaranteeing the right of schools to “conduct their affairs in a way consistent with their religious ethos”.

This will include the contentious question of whether any legal changes should be made to remove religious schools’ ability to expel gay students.


Religious freedom bill fails to meet election deadline (The Australian

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