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Coalition MPs push for stronger religious freedom laws

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Some coalition MPs are expected to press for stronger religious freedom laws after the party received strong backing from religious voters at the election.

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Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is pushing for religious beliefs to be exempt from employment contracts, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald report.

The laws would protect views such as those expressed by rugby player Israel Folau that led to his sacking.

“You can’t bring people’s faith beliefs into a contract,” Joyce told the newspapers.

“Your own views on who God is, where God is or whether there’s a God should remain your own personal views and not part of any contractual obligation.”

Attorney-General Christian Porter is due to bring a Religious Discrimination Act to parliament in July as part of an election promise.

However Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells wants a Religious Freedom Act, and says the election reinforced the need for more immediate legislative action, with an Australian Law Reform Commission review on the issue not due until next year.

“This is vitally important to not only address our concern,s but afford protection against these constant incursions from Labor, the Greens and their acolytes,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

It’s a new dawn on this issue.”

-AAP

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