By Meredith Doig, in The Big Smoke
Many groups are opposed to Christian Porter’s bill, particularly LGBTI groups, but also many freethought groups — atheists, sceptics, agnostics, humanists, rationalists, secularists.
If the bill simply added ‘religion’ to the set of anti-discrimination grounds, that would be no bad thing. After all, the Australian government is obliged to operationalise international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), both of which make discrimination on the ground of religion unlawful.
However, the bill goes much further than simply adding religion as an anti-discrimination ground. It adds clauses that can be nothing but a sop to high-profile Christian leaders, annoyed by being taken to task by those who don’t agree with their peculiarly idiosyncratic interpretation of doctrine.