Katter to move amendments to ineffective Religious Discrimination Bill

Nov 25, 2021

Katter to move amendments to ineffective Religious Discrimination Bill

Nov 25, 2021

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, strongly supports the need for a Religious Discrimination Bill in Australia but is considering moving amendments to aspects of the Morrison Government’s Bill that are of concern.

This legislation reflects a promise Mr. Morrison made before the last election to protect people of faith from religious discrimination.

The promise was made when Israel Folau was subjected to persecution because of his religious beliefs. However, the legislation does nothing for people who might find themselves in a similar situation to Mr. Folau.

The fact that the so-called ‘Folau clause’ had been removed from the Bill deeply concerned Mr. Katter.

“The whole intention of this Bill is to protect against religious persecution; people who are being punished because of their religious belief,” Mr. Katter said.

“Israel Folau was punished with the termination of his Rugby contract for simply posting and reading from the Bible.

“It is one thing to agree or disagree with the Bible, that is your privilege. It is another thing to start punishing people for expressing their beliefs from the Bible, then you are in big trouble indeed.

“There is no Folau clause in the Bill, so I don’t know why the Morrison Government is introducing this legislation.”

The second issue Mr. Katter has with the Bill in its current state is the definition of a religious belief.

“The definition of religious belief includes a person having religious beliefs and a person not holding a religious belief and not engaging in, or refusing to engage in, religious activity,” Mr. Katter said.

“The definition is not just contradictory. It contains definition which cannot be reconciled. My concern is that the consequence of this contradictory definition is that the legislation could be used against people of faith and especially small business owners. The legislation tries to be all things to all people.

“So hypothetically, if I say no, you can’t use our Jewish temple community hall for your homosexual wedding based on my religious beliefs, he can sue me and say I have discriminated against him based on his religious belief, which is that he doesn’t have a religious belief.

‘However, the whole point of this legislation is that someone should not be able to come after me or punish me due to my religious belief.”