New polling shows that just over a third of Australians support the introduction of laws enshrining religious freedoms, but just as many are undecided on the issue.
37 per cent of those polled by Essential said they support the plan, which is becoming a flagship issue for new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The high level of respondents unsure on the issue seems to reflect the government’s vagueness on what religious freedom laws would actually entail.
Despite the Philip Ruddock-led review of religious freedoms handing its report to the government in May, the report has yet to be released publicly and the government is yet to officially respond to the findings.
“I’ve seen where this issue has gone over the last ten years. And issues of freedom of speech, I’ve seen where they’ve gone over the last ten years. I’m not quite sure I’m pleased with the trajectory,” he said last week.
“There is no threat to religious freedom so we fear the real purpose of any new law will be to take existing discrimination protections away from LGBTI Australians,” said just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome, who also promised to lobby the Senate to oppose any legislation introduces around religious freedoms.
Among supporters of the major parties, Coalition voters proved most supportive, with 48 per cent of Liberal and National party voters in favour.
34 per cent of Labor voters indicated support, while 37 per cent of Greens voters said they supported the move as well – with 43 per cent of voters who supported ‘other’ parties opposing potential laws in the highest numbers.
In a statement released when Morrison took over the top job from outgoing Member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Christian Lobby indicated they were confident in Morrison’s approach to religious freedoms.
“We look forward to continuing our constructive conversation with the government on religious freedom,” ACL Director Martyn Iles said at the time.
“It’s now been over three months since the Ruddock Review was released. Religious freedom must be a priority for the Morrison ministry in light of increasing numbers of Australians who are getting in trouble with the law for living out their faith.”
An earlier version of this article misstated support for the laws as being “two-thirds” of Australians.