“I commend Attorney-General George Brandis for announcing legislation to amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act,” FamilyVoice president David Phillips said today.
The amendments, which will honour an election promise, will change the definition of racial vilification to eliminate at least two of the grounds (to “offend” and “insult”) that were used against conservative columnist Andrew Bolt over articles about light-skinned Aboriginal people two years ago.
Bolt caused offence suggesting that they should not have received benefits intended for people who have suffered genuine disadvantage because of their racial origin.
“I applaud Senator Brandis for seeking to re-centre the debate about rights, so that it includes the great liberal democratic rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of worship and freedom of the press,” Dr Phillips said.
“These freedoms are essential for robust debate. A ‘hurt feelings’ test is impossible to comply with while maintaining the pursuit of truth.”
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