The government’s “central role” when it comes to protecting religious expression is to address anti-discrimination and anti-vilification laws, which are “too frequently weaponised” against religious Australians, according to the IPA’s Morgan Begg.

“To the government’s credit, the religious discrimination bill does attempt to do this in part but only in narrow circumstances,” he told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“For instance, the protections for religious expression which would override some state anti-vilification legislation is so vague and ambiguous that it really undermines their potential to be an effective protection.

“Underlying this is all the practical problems in trying to separate out what are religious expressions and what are non-religious expressions.

“If you ask me, the right to free speech should be afforded to all Australians regardless of their motivations, whether it’s religious, political or any other reason.”

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