AUSTRALIA: New legislation could make it unlawful to wear a cross if another person (i.e., Muslim) is offended because of that person’s religion

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 IPA FACTSHEET (h/t Allan I)

21 December 2012

The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012

An unprecedented threat to freedom of speech and thought

On 20 November 2012, the Commonwealth Attorney-General made public an Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 (‘the Bill’). The Bill was referred to an inquiry of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. Submissions to the inquiry close on 21 December 2012, with its report due by 18 February 2013.

The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 makes a number of significant changes to anti- discrimination law in Australia, including:

• broadening the definition of discrimination to include conduct that ‘offends’ and ‘insults’ (clause 19-2)

• making it easier for a person to claim they were discriminated against, by requiring them to establish only that they were personally offended, not that a reasonable person would have been offended (cl 19-2)

• expanding the range of personal characteristics against which it is unlawful to discriminate, to include not only matters such as disability, race, and religion, but also ‘political opinion’ and ‘social origin’ (cl 17-1)

reducing the legal protection of a person accused of discrimination, by: declaring them guilty unless they prove their innocence, i.e. the ‘onus of proof’ is reversed (cl 124-1) restricting their right to legal representation (cl 110-4) requiring them to pay all the costs of their own defence even if they are found to be innocent (cl 133)

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If passed into law, the intended consequences of such a draconian Bill are far-reaching.

Impact on freedom of speech and thought

Almost any comment about anything has the potential to offend someone under the Bill. There would be a chilling effect on freedom of speech and thought if someone could claim the expression of a political viewpoint insulted them and was therefore discriminatory.

• The consequences of the Bill go beyond restricting speech. Flying the Australian flag would be unlawful if a person felt such an action insulted them on the basis of their political opinion.

Impact on freedom of religion

• The Bill would make it unlawful for a person to publicly express their religious belief (for example, by wearing a crucifix) if another person was offended because of that other person’s religion. (How about wearing a burqa or headbag?)

• The Bill would also make it unlawful to debate religion and religious practices if another person was offended because of their religion.

Government officials gain enormous power

• Both the potential grounds of discrimination in the Bill—such as a person’s political opinion or their social origin—and the defences against claims of discrimination—such as the conduct being ‘in good faith’ and having a ‘legitimate aim’ (cl 23-3)—are unclear and vague. These ambiguous terms give bureaucrats and judges broad discretionary power to determine the boundaries of lawful behaviour.

• Discrimination on the grounds of political opinion and social origin is unlawful if it is in connection with ‘work and work-related areas’ (cl 22-3). These terms are so broad as to potentially apply to spheres of activity well beyond the workplace. Furthermore, the government intends to take a ‘broad’ interpretation of what constitutes ‘work- related areas.’ 

Process and penalties

• An accusation of unlawful discrimination starts a legal process that could last years. Complaints are heard by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Federal Magistrates Court, or the Federal Court of Australia. Penalties for unlawful discrimination range from a forced apology, to the payment of monetary damages, to court-ordered censorship (cl 125).

To read the IPA’s submission visit  Freedom Watch IPA or for more information contact: Simon Breheny, Director, IPA Legal Rights Project, 0400 967 382, sbreheny@ipa.org.au

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75 comments on “AUSTRALIA: New legislation could make it unlawful to wear a cross if another person (i.e., Muslim) is offended because of that person’s religion

  1. aussiegirl, My wife was given a cross by her now deceased mother. And she said she shall wear it anyway. If anyone attacked my wife I would treat it as an act of civil war; and the rules of civil war would apply. Victory or Death!

  2. TurtleShroom, Unfortunately the opposite is true. There is no legislated law against wearing a burqa; and you cannot sue a Muslim because the act denies Aussies the right to “offend, humiliate and insult.” Gillard has said to Christians that religion is exempt from facing such charges; based on her comments the whole legislation is very shakey, unclear and one sided. Most Christians with rare exceptions will not use this legislated power; but as part of ‘Jihad Action’ Muslims will use it to harrass and sue others. The individuals may have limited power to sue; but Churches, Mosques and Islamic Organisations can attack savagely by law suit. But they cannot attack each other- us common people shall be the ones that have become oppressed and often legally mugged.

  3. There is one good thing to this bill, which I feel had the hands of a demon on the tip of the pen.

    You can charge any Muslim with offending you when she is wearing a full face headbag or burqa. Heck, you could even say it about veils.

    If they talk about Shariah Law, or want to build a mosque, BOOM! Offense offense offense!

    This could be a merciless tool to attack the enemy if you lacked the heart and were cruel as a lawyer.

    • TS, my guess would be that you as a Christian would not be able make use of this bill because you are not a minority. The only people allowed to be offended in this new PC garbage world are minorities. Of course, I as Jew, am a minority (not that we are considered one in the US, probably because we don’t sue everyone who offends us), so I would make full use of that law if it ever came to pass.

  4. xyz – We Aussies are not dead in the water yet. We held our ground at Kokoda; the ANZAC spirit shall never surrender to tryanny.

  5. Nicola Roxon, Ju-liar Gillard, Penny Wong and the rest of the racist rainbow sisterhood are showing their true fabian colours. The left feel threatened by the truth after decades of multiculturalism, third world immigration and globalisation are now seen as total failures. People are beginning to challenge leftist idealism and policy on a grander scale so the fabian fools are under scrutiny and they don’t like it.

    The federal election has been called for 14th September. The ugly Nicola Roxon has declared that the amendments to the anti-discrimination act are now on hold. Roll on the elction. Australians can’t wait to get rid of the commie bastards.

  6. Thank you MWP for that link information. But her resignation won’t let Roxon off the hook. She will still be listed in Australian History as the anti-Australian woman that wrote the anti-Freedom, anti-Discrimination Bill; regardless of whether the bill is passed or not her record shall read as a defined ‘Enemy of the State’ deemed allegedly responsible of High Treason against the Australian People; because of her authored attempt to destroy the Australian’s human right to ‘Freedom of Speech.’ All politicians around the world need to wake up and realise that any attempt to destroy ‘Freedom of Expression in Speech or Choice’ is an act of ‘High Treason’ against God, decency, children, humanity and the ‘Free World.’ And it should be noted that any government that introduces anti-Blasphemy laws are guilty of ‘High Treason.’ Blasphemy laws are anti-freedom of speech laws and are banned by the laws of human decency.

    • No Wucking Furries Allan, do the same for a white fella ;)
      But since when have the loony left been ruled by laws of human decency?
      They are out to destroy the Judaeo-Christian value system by attacking the core values & trying to stifle free speech.
      I think the last Labour leader who had any shred of human decency & a value system was Arthur Calwell – a ‘true blue’. Can’t think of anyone else.

  7. SweetOlBob, Agreed many Aussies are standing strong, proud and True Australian true to the spirit of the ANZACS. But there are also many Aussies true to Australia that live uneducated lives- these are the ones we have to wake up; and that involves a lot of hard time consuming work by others spreading the message.
    Best Wishes.

  8. Bonni This bitch is hated here in oz But i have misgivings what this bitch will do between now until election time MEANING HOW MANY MORE ISLAMIC BOAT PEOPLE is this bitch going to allow into the country?God how i hate this SLAG

  9. I am offeded by muslim beards, bag headed women and burka wearing bandits and theives, the scream call to worship at all hours of the day and so on. Do not let freedom of speech disappear because your democracy is next because freedom of speech is the life blood of democracy. Wake up Australia.

  10. Gillard government spent more than 9.7 million dollars to promote the Islam religion in Australia, also”developing and implementing activities that assist the Islamic Society of Victoria to dispel myths and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims”

    The government also is funding overseas religious workers paying them a salary of $66,000 dollars per year to spread Islam in this country. My greatest concern is that the government wants the Islamisation of Australia.
    To see the whole story, please click on the link below:
    http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/lifestyle/article/-/10406568/spreading-the-word

  11. what about the Christians and others who are offended by their crow suits and jammies which is a sign of their religion. Marching down the road to hell we are!

  12. Aussies,

    To the best of my knowledge the Media has been talking soft about this planned Bill. The main comments I have heard is a soft concern about reduction in ‘Freedom of Speech.’ How many of you knew about this before it was posted on BNI? Most people I know did not know about this bill and its implications.

    You should know that Gillard has assured Christian leaders that because Christianity is a ‘Religion of Faith’ they would be exempt from such legislation and can reject unmarried pregnant women and Gay people from employment without fear of prosecution because Christians are not expected to accept sinners as defined in their religion.

    This open gate exemption for religion means that Islam qualifies for the same rights- meanwhile those that criticise religion may be prosecuted.

    It will suppress ‘Freedom of Speech’ and thus shall encourage tyrants to rule unchallenged. People shall become afraid to speak lest they be sued or prosecuted as a criminal.

    Islam during its Jihad Struggle to destroy our freedom by ‘Islamization of Australia’ shall be free to expand their ‘Totalitarian Takeover Bid’ unchallenged.

    This means that Islam being enthusiastic about using ‘Law Suits’ can harass and attack all opposition legally as a ‘Jihad Action.’

    Because the Western World’s definitions of Islam are completely ‘Topsy Turvy’ suffering from extreme reverse logic, locked into serious erroneous thinking, it means that Islam can gradually increase its power to rule our country. The West still calls Islam a ‘Religion’ when in fact Islam is not a religion and is a cult. Hence Islam shall hold rights to intimidate all opposition that reject its clear and present danger doctrines. The ‘Marxist Politically Correct’ still stupidly call Islam a race when it can easily be proven that Islam is not a race, Islam is a creed, a cult ‘Belief System’ founded upon ‘Totalitarianism’ in much the same way as ‘Nazism’ only far worse.

    By lowering the bar on discrimination laws the system shall shift the burden of proof onto the heads of those being sued. They must justify their statements and actions. The person filing the unjust lawsuit is not accountable.

    The architect of Labor’s draft ‘National Anti-Discrimination Laws’ is the Attorney-General Nicola Roxon who naively sees nothing wrong with the use of words ‘offend, humiliate and insult’ used in an Act.

    In Section 51 Racial vilification is unlawful [in the Draft Act]
    When racial vilification is unlawful

    (1) It is unlawful for a person (the first person) to engage in racial vilification.

    (2) Conduct of a person is racial vilification if:

    (a) the conduct is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and
    (b) the first person engages in the conduct:
    (i) because the other person, or one or more members of the group, is of a particular race, or because the first person assumes that to be the case; or

    Ect…

    Whilst there is a strong possibility that the Bill will not be passed… never underestimate the enemy; United Vigilance Sharing Knowledge helps us all survive together.

  13. Bonni The arch trollop will not get this rubbish passed.If it is it will be revoked when the liberals come into power.This bill was presented to Parliament by one Nicola Roxon a bitch as stupid as her boss.

  14. Machinists, making the barrels and trigger mechanisms are not that hard. Primers and powder will also be needed.. Looks like work is on the way.
    It would have really been easier if you had a 2nd Amendment!
    I do have a question who was it that defanged the Aussies with the confiscation of guns?
    Seems they were in on it from the beginning. Maybe on a list of votes by the Politicians?

  15. I am offended by what is written in the koran. I am offended by halal slaughter. I am offend by the sight of the symbol of islam. I am offended by ……..anything to do with islam.

  16. Non-Muslims are offended and deeply disgusted that Islam calls for our conquest and mass murder.

    Founder of Islam, Mohammed: “I have been made victorious with terror”, “Wage war on the infidel and kill them until Islam is dominant” (Koran 8:39)

    Every Western government, media, organizations and religions have a moral responsibility to WARN their nations that the Quran commands Muslims to wage jihad against non-Muslims and conquer our nations.

    Koran 9:5 “Kill Jews and Christians wherever you find them”.

    Abu Baseer in London: “One of the goals of immigration is the revival of the duty of jihad and enforcement of power over the infidels. Immigration and jihad go together.

  17. The New World Order is working overtime to utterly DESTROY all safety and security and totally annihilate freedom in all non-Muslim countries.

  18. Australia has self destructed on political correctitude .

    Great nations self destructing on stupidity, and apathy (and in our modern era PC guilt * self loathing) is not new to world history. and the Australian fit that mold by the morons they have elected over the past years. What is new is how fast it is happening.

    Bye bye Matilda…

  19. my dog tags say catholic blood type A don’t wear the tags anymore but the silver cross i wear around my neck still talks for me around muzzies

  20. If that bill passes, and I pray the Lord grinds it under His heel, I will NOT be moving to Australia. *Frowns* Stinking liberals.

      • @angelfear: The poster is probably American. In America, “liberals” are what we call the people who are “Labour” in the UK and related territories. Basically, the “let’s change the world into Stalingrad” crowd. Americans saying “liberal” = Labour.

        -an American

  21. This is what obama and his playmates want to do in America but they would be smart to stop now. Americans will fight this. Islan needs to be banned from all non muslim countries before it is to late. And it is time to buy a cross and wear it. Peace to all non-muslims who agree.

    • My husband bought me a beautiful diamond cross for christmas. Interesting thing, I felt really strongly to get one and to be proud about wearing it. Can’t believe a legislation would exist to ban the wearing of a cross.

  22. It won’t pass muster here in Oz. The majority of people are awake up to this Fascist little caper.
    This became ironically apparent when the PM’s live in humper made a joke when addressing a group of sportsmen on the importance of having a prostate examination & would be best if “they could find a small female Asian doctor”!\
    It was a piss-weak joke but then the shit hit the fan & all of the loony leftards who gets offended over any perceived slight made the silly bugger apologise.
    From that little innocuous remark came out that under the proposed new legislation the PM’s root would have been in serious trouble & wind up in court!
    Now that the PM has called the election you can bet most legislation being presented to Parliament will be stalled if not outright defeated.

      • It was the Attorney General Nicola Roxon who came up with this crap.
        She & Gillard go a long way back to union days, both second rate lawyers & Gillard was forced to stop practising law because she was involved in setting up a slush fund for her live-in lover from Union Funds (which is currently under criminal investigation).

        Roxon has only been in the job since last year when she replaced a good AG Senator Robert McLelland because he voted for Kevin Rudd in his leadership challenge to Gillard last year.
        He will be retiring after this year’s election – he knows a lot about Gillard & her setting up the illegal slush fund, but because of “Cabinet Solidarity” cannot say anything – however it is well known he hates her guts.

        News Flash : Backlash puts end to Roxon bill clause

        http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/backlash-puts-end-to-roxon-bill-clause-20130131-2dnq3.html

      • Update: Roxen has resigned newsflash just come through! Shit is going down here BNI big time!! Exciting times…

      • By all accounts now that is the last thing on their mind ids this piece of ill-thought out legislation.
        As we speak there is an emergency Cabinet meeting being held in Canberra & another special Caucus meeting on Monday – even rumours that Gillard will be turfed out & could be replaced by one of 3 contenders –
        Bill Shorten, Greg Combet & Wayne Swan.
        Shorten used to pork Roxon about 15 years ago, but is now married to the Governor-General’s daughter – although that hasn’t stopped him from straying…….

  23. I am offended by the way muzzies dress so they would have to change that if this bill passes, or is it only if muzzies are offended ??

    • So much anxiety from Muslim “Conceal Identity” clothing. Are they about to rob a jewelry store? After a Muslim terror attack, escape London’s airport? Blow up soon?

      Koran 9:5 “Kill Jews and Christians wherever you find them”.

  24. please hurry and pass this legislation being retired this will give me something to do to supplement my pension.Everytime I see a burqa covered face Iam deeply and utterly offended cant sleep from worry.The halal labels and signs are a nightmare.Living in Kuraby the islamic centre of Brisbane every friday at the mosque will give me additional reasons to sue for being offended.Now all I need is a good NO Win No Pay lawyers to make some real money.Dont tell that muslims are exempt or I will do a DOUGIE and dummy spit.With all this lovely money can buy some napalm or C4 to clean up the mess.

  25. this is utter crap and must be opposed – who the hell do they think they are? yes i get offended everytime i see a women wearing a burka so lets ban that too!

  26. Surely it won’t pass as written in totality but none of it should pass. Especially troubling is the reverse onus — very shari’ah. If it does pass, the opposition must organize to complain to the Commission about everything about Islam that offends, like the opinion that gays should be executed, that the poor should have their limbs hacked off, that girls should not be educated, etc., and sure, that the hijab offends.

  27. Hey Aussies ! How long are you going to let crap like this go on ? Can’t you get these multicultural jerks out of office ? For Krissake ! Look at France, Germany and , of course, Merrie Olde England and their problems with the filthy muslims. Still, the liberals, in their thirst for power, will pander to every cult and quasi religion on earth in order to gain support.
    Here in the U.S., we have allowed a crooked election and a populace sucking at our welfare teat to place a closet muslim in our highest office. Please don’t make the same mistakes ! Stay strong, proud, and Australian ! You’ve let the libs disarm you for the most part.
    Don’t let them take your pride and national identity too.

  28. I bet it is just one way as well. Does this bill mean that if you are offended at burkhas and hijabs, you can do something about it? And that the sight of a mosque makes you feel threatened?

  29. liberalism is more than a “sickness” !!!!!!! , it is full blown mass suicide ! by the fucking “CLUELESS” !!!!!!!

  30. Worst times then of Hitler dark age will come soon!!!!
    The Fascims is returning by hands of the lefht!!!!!!!
    The freedom lovers, prepair for long and deadly fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. I don’t believe this Bill will pass here in Australia, but that doesn’t stop Jooliar Gizzard from trying her left wing Obama style tactics…we all know she loves Obama!, he;s her idol!

    • @aussiegirl – this wont happen as you know the Ranga has called the early election and she will be long gone before this bullshit even gets a slight mention in parliament. That Roxton moll wont be around for too long either she will be joining the Ranga on looking for a new job or on the dole queue they go :)

      As if Abbott would let something like the cross being banned because it offends Muzscum inbreds, him being a Catholic, wont stand for such nonsense I can almost guarantee it.

      • I havent heard of this, BNI, but rest assured the commie slag is on her way out! The leader of the Libs, Tony Abbott, is a Christian conservative, and there’s no way this would pass. It makes me sick that the bitch would consider it. She’s an atheist mole and would love to see all religions (but Islam) removed.

      • The Liberal party in Aus is the right winged coalition with the Nationals. People can get confused, and I’ve been called a spy by some that have found out I vote “Liberal” LOL

      • @ BNI – im abit slow on the reply but Saxon has answered your question perfectly below (thanks Saxon well put!).
        Barrys’ Groupie (Gillard) is definately on her way out as recent news making headlines the past 24 hours is one of Dillard Gillards (The Ranga as known by us Aussies) sidekicks parlimentary member has finally been proved to have committed fraud by stealing Union funds from the Health sector Union mrmbers (hundreds and thousands of dollars) which he spent on high class escorts, fine wine and dining and personal travel. This was initially exposed some time ago and has been under investigation. Gillard has been defending this particular dipshit of his innocence but now the Police and relevant authoritis have proof dipshit is guilty hence Gillard knows the shit is going to hit the fan and thats another reason (adding to the reason Saxon commented on) the election is being called earlier. All interesting stuff happening here down under. This banning of the cross will not happen as Liberals will oppose such crap (Ring Wing government opposition. Please do not confuse our Liberal to the US Loonie Liberals).

        I do wonder that in desperation Gillard will consult her boyfriend Barry on how to ‘rig’ an election. Thats not being far fetched but she has been so greedy to hold on to power (like Barry) I wouldnt put it past her (like Barry) :)

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