Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his Government is set to introduce new laws on religious liberty, following the case of Israel Folau.
The sports star was fired by Rugby Australia in May for a social media post quoting the Bible which was deemed ‘homophobic’.
At the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Morrison said the Government was “working very hard” on bringing forward a Religious Discrimination Act.
The Prime Minister, who attends a former Assemblies of God church in Sydney, said: “Religious freedom is one of the cornerstones of what we are as a country, and it’s important our laws reflect that”.
“Now we’ve committed to put in place a Religious Discrimination Act, we’re going to do that. We’re working very hard on that right now.”
Israel Folau took his case to the Australia Fair Work Commission, saying that he was unfairly dismissed.
Religious Discrimination Act
Speaking about his case, Australia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he wants “laws to exempt religious beliefs from employment contracts”.
He stressed: “You can’t bring people’s faith beliefs into a contract. 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.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s Attorney General is “expected” to introduce a Religious Discrimination Act to the Australian Parliament later this month.
In April The Christian Institute wrote a letter challenging the Rugby Football Union (RFU) after English player Billy Vunipola was disciplined for expressing his Christian views.
Vunipola ‘liked’ Folau’s social media message and also posted his view that sex should be reserved for opposite sex marriage.
Writing to the RFU, Institute Director Colin Hart said: “The belief that sex is only for marriage is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society”.
He asked if the RFU could “confirm that it is willing to engage players who agree with this view about marriage”.
To date, the RFU have not responded to the Institute’s letter.