Reforms to Religious and Gender Laws in Australia

In a series of some transformational decisions, the Australian Government may be making changed to more than one law. A cabinet meeting is being chaired by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, where Attorney-General Christian Porter will propose a bill which mirrors other existing laws that protect Australians from race, sex, disability and age discrimination.

Following the controversy surrounding the discrimination heated Israel Folau case, there have been calls for some serious measures to introduce reforms in gender and faith and related expression laws in Australia.  The labor will support modest changes to anti- discrimination laws, it announced.

The government will take many considerations under advisement, but no total reform is expected. Some changes and alterations to existing laws that tie the ends well will be introduced. For instance, individuals will be able to present a legal defense or argument supporting their view, religious or that states they are without one. Their faith being sovereign to them.

The Australian Law Reform Commission is still considering the separate issue of how religious schools deal with gay students and teachers.

There have been voices to have more impactful reforms, particularly in the wake of same-sex marriage being made law.

Labor frontbencher Stephen Jones said the right to practice faith should be protected. “But we don’t want to be going down a path where we are fixing a problem that doesn’t exist … and creates unintended consequences. If the government has got some proposals which modestly protect faith communities and people of faith from the sorts of discrimination, we would all find abhorrent, that would have our support,” he said.

Liberal senator James Paterson, who has taken part in consultations with Mr. Porter, said, “Religious freedom is the freedom to have faith, to not have faith, or to change your faith”.