Uniting Church joins in call to reject changes to Racial Discrimination Act

Uniting Church joins in call to reject changes to Racial Discrimination Act

“Racism is a serious, continuing problem in Australia. Beyond the well-publicised recent examples of racial abuse on the sporting field and public transport, research by VicHealth, the Scanlon Foundation and others has documented widespread racial discrimination. Research also confirms that racial discrimination and vilification can cause serious mental health impacts and other social harm. Racism remains a major barrier to achieving our vision for a just, equitable and reconciled Australia.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right but it is not an absolute right and must be balanced against other rights including the right to be free from racial discrimination and vilification. Australian laws limit speech and expression in areas like defamation, false advertising, sexual harassment and threats to kill. Protecting against the serious harm that flows from racial vilification is a legitimate restriction on free speech.”

This extract is taken from an open letter to the Attorney General, the Hon. George Brandis, calling on him to abandon the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

Over 120 organisations have written to express their concern that the proposed changes are unnecessary and would undermine current protections against racial discrimination.

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