Gay rights advocates are in favour of proposed new religious anti-discrimination laws, so long as they don't end up sanctioning new forms of harassment.
More than 50 LGBTIQ+ advocates, organisations and allies have signed a joint statement calling on federal parliament to pass laws that strengthen protections for people facing discrimination either because of their religious beliefs or lack of them.
But they opposed any draft legislation that would give religious groups a 'licence" discriminate.
"We caution the Australian parliament against laws that would give some people within society a 'sword' to use their beliefs to harm others by cutting through existing anti-discrimination protections," they said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
Attorney-General Christian Porter is drafting laws to ban religious discrimination, following consultations with coalition colleagues, before speaking with religious leaders and seeking public feedback.
The government's promise to enact the laws arises from the Ruddock review of religious freedoms, which arose from the debate around the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Coalition MPs are divided on whether the laws should deliver a simple undertaking that people would be free of discrimination on religious grounds, or protect religious freedoms more comprehensively.
"Conservative religious groups, like the Australian Christian Lobby, are trying to use this protection from discrimination as payback for marriage equality," Equality Australia chief executive Anna Brown said.
"But we cannot let their cynical politics divide us when we are seeing the rise of vilification and hate crimes against others, such as Muslim or Jewish Australians."
Australian Associated Press