Religious discrimination laws are back in the news, and if you’re thinking “didn’t we have this debate and sort it out years ago?”, the answer is yes, and no.

As Luke Beck explains, the issue has its roots in the 2017 marriage equality plebiscite. Despite more than 60% of Australians voting “yes”, conservative religious groups were offered a religious freedom review in its aftermath. The review did not find that Australia had a religious discrimination problem, but it did recommend new laws to protect against such discrimination. So in 2018, the Morrison government proposed a Religious Discrimination Act.

Parts of the proposed laws were highly controversial, and they never passed.

In the lead-up to the 2022 federal election, “Anthony Albanese promised to change federal law to ban discrimination against LGTBQIA+ students and staff by religious schools, and to protect people against discrimination on the basis of their religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs,” Beck explains.

After Labor won the election, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to advise how the law would need to be changed to comply with Labor’s election promise. That report is due to be released today, amid intense politicking in anticipation of it.

Religious discrimination laws have a long and tumultuous recent history in Australia. And it is still far from over.

Amanda Dunn

Politics + Society Editor

Why are religious discrimination laws back in the news? And where did they come from in the first place?

Luke Beck, Monash University

Religious discrimination laws have been highly controversial in Australia in recent years. Here’s where they started, and where we are now.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declines to front media after talks with Penny Wong

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Wong says she delivered a strong message to her counterpart on the sentencing of Australian writer Yang Hengjun on espionage charges.

The government is fighting a new High Court case on immigration detainees. What’s it about and what’s at stake?

Anne Twomey, University of Sydney

The government will head back to the High Court next month for another immigration case. If it loses, there could be wide-ranging consequences.

If TikTok is banned in the US or Australia, how might the company – or China – respond?

Marina Yue Zhang, University of Technology Sydney; Wanning Sun, University of Technology Sydney

TikTok has mobilised its vast user base to contest a possible US ban, plus it could challenge it in court as an infringement of people’s free speech.

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Cyber expert Lesley Seebeck on TikTok’s future in Australia

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

TikTok has come into the spotlight after the US. congress proposed a bill to force it's sale away from Chinese owned company ByteDance. To discuss this we're joined by Cyber expert Lesley Seebeck.

Terrorist content lurks all over the internet – regulating only 6 major platforms won’t be nearly enough

Marten Risius, The University of Queensland; Stan Karanasios, The University of Queensland

Online extremism is a unique challenge – terrorists use methods that can’t be captured by standard content moderation. So, what can we do about it?

From power prices to chocolate fountains, the Tasmanian election campaign has been a promise avalanche

Robert Hortle, University of Tasmania

Tasmanians head to the polls on Saturday in an election that was called more than a year early. After a largely uninspiring campaign, here’s your guide to state election.

Feeding young kids on a budget? Parents say the mental load is crushing

Kimberley Baxter, Queensland University of Technology; Rebecca Byrne, Queensland University of Technology

Parents told us how the ever-present juggle of budgets and the realities of family life strained relationships and increased their mental load.

Each Easter we spend about $62 a head on chocolates, but the cost of buying unsustainable products can be far greater

Stephanie Perkiss, University of Wollongong; Cristiana Bernardi, The Open University; John Dumay, Macquarie University

The 5th Edition of the Chocolate Scorecard reveals that some retailers are lagging when it comes to selling sustainable products.

‘How long before climate change will destroy the Earth?’: research reveals what Australian kids want to know about our warming world

Chloe Lucas, University of Tasmania; Charlotte Earl-Jones, University of Tasmania; Gabi Mocatta, Deakin University; Gretta Pecl, University of Tasmania; Kim Beasy, University of Tasmania; Rachel Kelly, University of Tasmania

The result shows climate change education in schools must become more holistic and empowering, and children should be allowed to shape the future they will inherit.

A battery price war is kicking off that could soon make electric cars cheaper. Here’s how

Muhammad Rizwan Azhar, Edith Cowan University; Waqas Uzair, Edith Cowan University; Yasir Arafat, Edith Cowan University

China’s two largest EV battery makers are pledging to slash the cost of their batteries this year. Behind the pledge is a cost war – and new battery chemistries.

Gabriel García Márquez’s last novel is a moving testament to his genius

Gabriel Garcia Ochoa, Monash University

Until August is the fruit of Gabriel García Márquez’s labour against adversity, a moving testament of his love for and commitment to literature.

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