Chapter 2: Religious freedom as an element of the human rights framework
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Proposals for Australia to adopt a bill of rights in some form have been resisted by a number of religious bodies in the past. However, particularly in response to the marriage equality laws, there has been an increasing drive for a special law to protect religious freedom. This chapter argues that such efforts are misguided. A comprehensive bill of rights, that includes religious freedom, would provide more appropriate protection for religious activities and would also result in a more justifiable approach to a complex set of issues. Special treatment for religion ignores the potential for religion to interfere with the rights of others (including the rights of religious minorities) and could lead to fragmentation of laws where each right is protected by a distinct law rather than in a coherent legal framework.

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