Advice from respected constitutional law expert Professor George Williams has revealed that it is likely that the Tasmanian government’s Anti-discrimination Amendment Bill 2015, which seeks to give religious schools the right to discriminate against children on religious grounds, is in breach of the Tasmanian Constitution Act 1934.
“When given the opportunity to respond to Professor Williams’ advice today, not one single government member had anything to say. They are condemned by their own silence,” said Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim MP.
“The government is now asking members of both Houses of the Tasmanian parliament to pass a Bill which in Professor Williams’ opinion is likely to contravene the Constitution Act, without a single word of response.”
“The Amendment Bill, or bigot’s charter, is not only bad law, but it tramples all over Tasmanians’ fundamental right to religious freedom as enshrined in our Constitution Act.”
“The Attorney General is asleep at the wheel. Surely she must now insist that the Bill is withdrawn until she can satisfy both Houses of the parliament that the government is not in breach of the Constitution Act.”
“If this Bill passes we can expect Tasmanian children to be discriminated against by religious schools on a range of issues, including sexuality and gender identity, using the bigot’s charter as cover,” Mr McKim said.