Attorney General Christian Porter has promised that the Parliament will consider the Australian Government’s new package of religious discrimination legislation before Christmas.
“The laws will protect people from being discriminated against, but will not give them a licence to discriminate against other people,” Porter said yesterday, according to The New Daily.
“What we aim to deliver was rightly described … as being a shield against discrimination, and not a sword.”
Porter made the comments after a cabinet meeting to finalise the draft laws.
A spokesman for Porter said that the Government’s proposed legislation would not override state laws when it came to priests having to report child abuse or in other circumstances.
“Mandatory reporting is a state issue,” the spokesman said.
“The bill will protect Australians from discrimination, but will not legalise conduct that is made unlawful under state law.”
Porter said he expected to release the draft package of legislation to the public soon, which will be the first opportunity for LGBTQI advocates to examine the proposal in detail.
Scott Morrison met with 21 religious leaders to discuss the Government’s plans at the beginning of August, but LGBTQI advocates are still waiting to be allowed to have meaningful dialogue with the Government over its plans.