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Current Affairs

Australia’s controversial Religious Discrimination Bill

Date: 27 November 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

An anti-discrimination legislation called the “Religious Discrimination Bill” has been introduced by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in lower house of Parliament.

 

Background

The bill has been designed to remove discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activities.

 

Details

  • Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021 and the Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 are two constituents of the bill.

  • They will protect Australian citizens from discrimination on the basis of religious belief or religious activity.

  • The bill has been introduced months before the federal elections and is seen as an attempt to attract religious voters.

 

Constituent of the bill

  • No discrimination can be performed against a person based on their religious belief or activity such as education, work, provision of goods, services etc.

  • There are certain exceptions such as allowing faith-based organizations such as religious schools to hire and enroll people from particular faiths. 

 

Concerns

  • The clause that allows certain organizations to hire people from particular faith has alarmed LGBTQI groups which feel that gay teachers and students may not be allowed.

  • Some have criticized the title of the bill that emphasizes on religious discrimination rather than religious freedom.

 

Addressing concerns

PM Morrison says that the bill will take at least one year to get implemented. He has asked schools not to remove gay teachers or students.