Changes to religious exceptions in anti-discrimination laws

21 October 2022
religious exceptions
In December 2021, the Victorian Parliament passed the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Act 2021.

The reforms narrowed and removed religious exceptions to discrimination in the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. This includes where religious organisations or bodies provide government-funded goods and services.

The reforms on goods and services will come into operation on 14 December 2022. This commencement period is necessary to allow for planning and implementation activities to occur with impacted organisations.

Previously, religious exception provisions under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 permitted religious organisations and bodies that provide goods and services, to discriminate on a range of personal attributes.

Under the changes, religious organisations or bodies that provide government-funded goods or services will no longer be able to discriminate when providing the goods or services (unless another exception applies) because of a person’s sex, sexual orientation, lawful sexual activity, marital status, parental status and gender identity  

The Fact Sheet - Equal Opportunity Act 2010 explains the changes and includes a range of frequently asked questions and links to further information.