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Federal Religious Freedom Laws - Government Response

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Tags: Discrimination, Religion

Religious Freedom Laws: O'Connor, 3 September, 2019



Do you support the so-called religious freedom laws being put forward by your culture warrior colleagues in Canberra? What is your response to a law that will override Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Act and make it easier to offend, insult or humiliate - that is harm - LGBTI Tasmanians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Tasmanians with disability, women, the elderly? The list of marginalised people goes on. Will you make any representation to your federal colleagues to wind back the federal bill in order to protect these vulnerable Tasmanians?



Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question. This Government has a very strong track record for supporting those within our community who are vulnerable, those in our community who may be marginalised, strengthening laws to ensure that that be so and increasing protections, programs and initiatives for that purpose. We have often also expressed our very strong views in relation to these matters, and the Commonwealth Government made no secret of their intentions were they to be re-elected. Obviously their policy position is one that they stand by. Certainly with respect to our colleagues, we will always seek to understand from them anything proposed that affects Tasmania.

We have received a copy of the draft legislation to which the member refers, as I have said publicly, and as the Attorney-General will do on behalf of Government before reporting to Government, and before we state more publicly our response to this draft legislation, which is out for consultation -

Ms O'Connor - Are you going to make a submission.

Mr HODGMAN - take advice as to how to we react with our laws, and if there are any constitutional issues that arise. Of course there are contentious matters, as we have previously expressed, and complex legal matters as well, and there are competing views expressed in relation to these matters. It would be inappropriate to pre-empt the Government's position on these matters until we have received that advice, but we will certainly continue to very strongly stand up for Tasmanians to ensure that they are protected by the law, because that is what we have done in the past.