There are a number of anti-discrimination laws in Australia at the federal, state and territory level. Many of these laws include some kind of exemption for religious institutions, to enable those institutions to give effect to beliefs and practices of the particular religion. The Australian Government has asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to consider whether those exemptions could be limited or removed altogether, while still allowing religious institutions to conduct their affairs in accordance with their religious ethos. The Government has also asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to consider whether any laws prevent a person from expressing a view of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
On 10 April 2019, the Attorney-General issued Terms of Reference requesting the ALRC to conduct an Inquiry into the Framework of Religious Exemptions in Anti discrimination Legislation. The Terms of Reference were altered by the Attorney-General on 29 August 2019.
On 2 March 2020 the Attorney-General amended the ALRC’s reporting deadline to be 12 months from the date the Religious Discrimination Bill is passed by Parliament.