Independent Senator Jacquie Lambie has told the ABC this afternoon that she does not support the government’s draft Religious Discrimination bill, and she is particularly opposed to the legislation acting to override Tasmania’s state anti-discrimination laws.
“The religious freedoms we have in Tasmania, as they are now, they are working pretty well and I don’t have a lot of people around Tasmania talking to me about religious freedom,” Senator Lambie said, earlier today.
She said that having the state’s anti-discrimination laws overriden, “will upset Tasmanians more than the law itself to be honest.”
“They seem to be satisfied, nobody wants to talk about it.”
Senator Lambie told the ABC that she didn’t see a case for justifying the proposed federal legislation.
“Not at this point in time,” she said, “Unless there is a real pickup [in complaints], and a lot more Tasmanians are speaking about [religious discrimination].”
Lambie’s comments were welcomed by Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome.
“The people who will suffer most from the proposed federal override of our state discrimination protections are Tasmanians vulnerable to hate and discrimination, including people with disability, single parents, unmarried partners, ethnic minorities and LGBTI people,” Croome said.
“Tasmanians have the right to make laws to protect the most vulnerable among us, without interference from meddling Canberra politicians.”
“I applaud Senator Lambie for questioning the need for a federal law that will take away both legal protections for vulnerable Tasmanians and the right of all Tasmanians to make our own human rights laws.”
Croome said Tasmania already has the nation’s strongest protections against discrimination and hate speech directed at people of faith.