Anti-discrimination laws “chilling this country’s political process”

John Roskam writing in the Australian Financial Review¬†last week, following the anti-discrimination complaint of Archishop Julian Porteous’ innocuous marriage pamphlet, and how, as well as “chilling freedom of speech”, anti-discrimination laws are “now also chilling this country’s political process”:

The plebiscite on same-sex marriage is one of two significant and contentious votes to take place in the new few years. The other is the referendum on Indigenous recognition…¬†it’s entirely legitimate to have a debate about recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the constitution, but if there is a chance for it to be regarded as legitimate, it must be the outcome of a free and open debate between two sides. Under Australian anti-discrimination legislation, if someone participating in the debate on Indigenous recognition says something deemed by the authorities to be “insulting” or “offensive”, they will be breaking the law.

A vote in a plebiscite or referendum, in which one side is not allowed to present its case, is not a legitimate vote. That’s why both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage should be concerned by the complaint against Archbishop Porteous and the Catholic Church.

Read the whole article here.

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