19 November 2015

The Australian Christian Lobby has applauded Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman for his comments indicating a review of anti-discrimination laws to shore up free speech is necessary ahead of a national plebiscite on marriage.

This comes on the same day that an ACL petition on the issue was jointly tabled by Labor and Liberal MP’s David Llewellyn and Guy Barnett.

The ACL petition calls on the Tasmanian parliament to repeal Section 17(1) of the Anti-Discrimination Act, the part of the legislation currently being used against Archbishop Julian Porteous by Greens candidate Martine Delaney.

“This affirmation from the premier sends a reassuring message to all Tasmanians who value free speech and have been deeply concerned by the decision from Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks to progress the case against the popular Church leader.” said ACL’s Tasmanian Director, Mark Brown.

“Free speech is a hallmark of a healthy democracy. The Premiers’ comments in effect confirm the law over steps the mark through this important right.

“This move is good news for all who value such foundational freedoms and is a set-back to the Greens and parts of the gay lobby in their attempts to silence those who disagree with them.

“Getting these laws back in balance will be vital to ensure a free and robust debate ahead of a people’s vote on marriage after the next election.”