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Attorney-General Christian Porter announced the draft bill at Sydney’s Great Synagogue. Bianca de Marchi/AAP

The government has released its draft religious discrimination bill. How will it work?

Given the unique aspects of the proposed bill, there should be a longer consultation period to examine why religious freedoms should be prioritised over other freedoms.
Scott Morrison has promised to protect people against discrimination because of their religious faith, and says he wants to do it before the election. Shutterstock

Morrison wants Religious Discrimination Act passed before election

Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to create a new post of Freedom of Religion Commissioner, because he says many people of religion "feel the wheels closing in".
A federal Religious Discrimination Act would introduce important protections for Australia’s religiously diverse population. Shutterstock

Why Australia needs a Religious Discrimination Act

Australians already enjoy a relatively high level of religious freedom. However, discrimination and vilification on the basis of people's faith still exists.
The Ruddock report recommends the existing right of religious schools to turn away LGBT+ students and teachers be maintained, but that further constraints be added. Shutterstock

Ruddock report constrains, not expands, federal religious exemptions

The report affirms that religious freedom is not to be legally entrenched as superior to rights to equality and freedom from discrimination.
Social Services Minister Dan Tehan has called for a Religious Discrimination Act, but there are many reasons to be wary of such a move. AAP/Lukas Coch

Why Australia does not need a Religious Discrimination Act

As Australian society changes, some religious groups are struggling to adjust to their new, less influential place in it.
We must protect people from harmful speech. But the cause of freedom must exceed the creation of religious exemptions. Shutterstock

Australia needs a better conversation about religious freedom

As the Ruddock review of religious freedom is about to report, we need a more sophisticated understanding of what religion is and the ways its expression can be curtailed - or can curtail others.

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