The Greens and Labor are reportedly in discussions towards a push to introduce a bill of rights for Australia, following the introduction of marriage equality.

A bill of rights could be before a Senate inquiry, the first step to constitutional reform, as early as this year, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Momentum for a bill to protect against discrimination has been growing as the review of religious freedoms continues.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has said he would defend Christianity and “call out” offensive remarks against religion in the wake of the marriage equality vote.

Greens Senator Nick McKim suggested a bill of rights could satisfy both LGBTI advocates and religious conservatives.

“Religious rights are important rights but they need to be protected in a way that balances other rights,” said McKim.

“We are the only liberal democracy in the world that does not have a bill or charter of rights.

“Ideally, rights would be enshrined in the constitution but that is obviously a long process and one that is difficult unless we have political unanimity.”

A bill of rights modelled on international examples, such as the US and UK, would enshrine legal protection against discrimination for Australians.

Conservatives have voiced concerns over service providers such as bakers being forced to serve same-sex couples against their beliefs.

No examples have yet been reported in Australia of couples being refused service for being gay.

In a US case, a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple recently lost an appeal against a $135,000 fine.

The panel on religious freedoms, led by former attorney-general Philip Ruddock, is due to report its findings in March.

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