Media release

Removal of Folau clause latest blow for freedom of speech: Kelly

Federal leader of the United Australia Party, Craig Kelly MP, has blasted the Morrison Government for removing the so-called Folau clause from its religious discrimination bill, calling it yet another attack on freedom of speech.

“This is disgraceful legislation from an out of touch Prime Minister,’’ Mr Kelly said.

“People, regardless of their faith, should have the right to freedom of speech and should not be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs,’’ Mr Kelly said.

“The Prime Minister has bowed to pressure from the Greens and Labor, demonstrating once again his complete lack of leadership.”

The Folau clause preventing employers sanctioning employees for religious speech has been removed from the bill expected to be introduced into parliament this week.

It means there would be no legal protection to an individual if they had their employment terminated as a result of expressing their religious beliefs, such as what happened to rugby star Israel Folau when he was stripped of his $4 million contract in 2019.

“The United Australia Party stands to protect the values that have been built and developed in this country since federation,’’ Mr Kelly said.

“We believe in the most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom of association.

“This includes respect for our Constitution and the rule of law, which underpins our democratic society and protects the rights, freedoms and liberties of every Australian citizen,’’ he said.

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