Folau settlement shows there is no need for religious discrimination laws

Equality Australia has welcomed today’s settlement between Rugby Australia and Israel Folau saying it draws a line under what has been a divisive and hurtful period for LGBTIQ+ people in rugby, in sport and more generally.

The LGBTIQ+ rights groups say the settlement proves that there is no need for a new law, especially one that would limit the right of employers to have codes of conduct which promote inclusion and diversity.

Anna Brown, CEO, Equality Australia argues that the new development in the long running saga shows there is no need for new laws to be introduced.

“Today’s settlement shows that Australia doesn’t need a Religious Discrimination Bill,”

“While the details are confidential it is clear that Rugby Australia did not back down on its support for the LGBTIQ+ community and have indicated again that they do not agree with the damaging and hurtful statements made by Israel Folau. We commend them for standing by the principles of equality in the sport. They have taken a stand for inclusion,” Brown said.

Last week Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced he would not be introducing the religious discrimination bill into parliament. The PM had promised to introduce the legislation before the end of the year but has now conceded the contentious legislation needed more work.

“The Religious Discrimination Bill proposed by the Commonwealth Government privileges the rights of some over others by overriding existing discrimination protections,” Anna Brown said.

“We are pleased that the Government is going back to the drawing board on its Bill but reiterate that the new and radical provisions that roll back existing rights for all Australians under the guise of religious freedom are unacceptable.”

OIP Staff