Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the protections of the freedoms of religious Australians is essential to a flourishing free liberal democracy.

Mr Morrison – who introduced his religious discrimination bill on Thursday morning – hailed the bill as a product of a “tolerant and mature society”.

“The protection of what we choose to believe in a free society is essential to our freedom and so it is only right we should expect that what we sincerely believe should be afforded the same protection from discrimination in a free liberal democracy as any other protected attributes of our humanity,” he said.

“[This bill] is a product of a tolerant and mature society that understands the importance of faith and belief to a free society, while not seeking to impose those beliefs or ever seek to injure others in the expression of those beliefs.

“This bill also builds on Australia’s proud record as the most successful multicultural, multi-faith nation on the planet.”

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