Secured an inquiry into anti-vilification protections in Victoria
In September 2019, Fiona Patten introduced a new piece of legislation designed to enhance the state’s anti-vilification laws.
The Racial and Religious Tolerance Amendment Bill 2019 sought to extend Victoria’s anti-vilification laws — currently reserved to racial and religious vilification — to include hate speech based on gender, as well as disability and sexual orientation.
At the time, Premier Daniel Andrews said:
“We’re probably looking to see what the outcomes are from some of the bills, particularly the religious freedoms bill, that are before the Federal Parliament.
“We want to see how that unfolds, because it might cut across some of the work we’re looking to do.”
‘New hate speech laws will have to wait: Premier’ – The Age newspaper on 11/11/19
The Victorian Government agreed that the substance of Ms Patten’s Bill was worthy of further inquiry, and referred it to the Legislative Assembly’s Legal and Social Issues Committee.
Vilification and online hate-speech has a devastating and long-lasting impact on a person’s wellbeing, including physical and mental health and labour market participation.
Vilification and online hate-speech divides and damages the community, erodes equality and creates an economic burden.
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