“Tony Abbott’s plan to roll back laws that undermine free speech is welcome news,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“In our election survey, we asked parties whether they wouldvote against any attempt to introduce vilification laws that would penalise frank discussion and debate of religious belief or sexuality.
“The Labor-Greens consortium over the last three years has moved to intensify laws that would curtail our freedoms. The Coalition, on the other hand, has opposed laws which make it a crime merely to ‘offend’ someone else on various grounds.
“Today, those who question the claims or practices of a particular religion, or who comment on the health risks of a particular sexual activity, are at risk of being penalised,” Ros Phillips said.
“The freedoms of speech, association and religion are under threat in Australia. The forced resignation of Professor Kuruvilla George last year, Nicola Roxon’s proposed anti-discrimination laws in 2012, and Alex Greenwich’s new anti-discrimination bill in NSW are but three examples pointing to an Orwellian future,” Ros Phillips said.
“Australians are already adequately protected by laws which prohibit incitement to violence against people or property that would threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.
“Resisting and overturning vilification and other anti-freedom laws is essential for our freedoms. Good governance requires the defence of truth, even if the truth is sometimes uncomfortable or unwelcome.”
- Government and society