Former NSW chief justice Jim Spigelman has spoken out against the federal bill, saying it would impose unprecedented restrictions on free speech, far beyond anti-discrimination laws in other countries (The Australian, 11/12/12).
Reversing the onus of proof (so respondents must prove their innocence), then denying the right to have a legal adviser at conciliation conferences, is contrary to natural justice.
The bill would prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples. There would be no exception for religious bodies providing aged care – they would have to treat homosexual couples as married couples.
This would undermine religious freedom and could be extended to schools and other services in future.