Religious Freedom Bills – Second Exposure Drafts Submission

Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic) appreciates the opportunity to provide this submission on the second exposure drafts of the Religious Freedom Bill 2019, Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2019, and the Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Rights) Bill 2019 (‘the Religious Freedom Bills’). DV Vic supports the right of all to freedom of thought and belief, including the freedom of religion, without discrimination. DV Vic also supports the right for all people to live free from discrimination, oppression and violence. While the draft Religious Freedom Bills introduce important protections from discrimination based on religious beliefs and represent some progress towards protection from religious vilification, DV Vic considers they also permit harmful discrimination against, and exclusion of, already marginalised and oppressed groups and therefore fail to strike an ethical balance between freedom of religion and the protection of the fundamental human rights of others. DV Vic does not support the position expressed in the proposed reforms that the right to religious freedom is absolute where the manifestation of the right to religious freedom violates other fundamental rights and is harmful to others.

DV Vic Religious Freedom Bills Submission