Anti-discrimination law upholds the value of treating like cases alike in access to services and benefits. That must be balanced with other societal values like freedom of association, expression, conscience and a multicultural, pluralistic democracy which celebrates difference. Different voluntary associations in civil society express and model different versions of a good way to live. That freedom and diversity should not be undermined by anti-discrimination law (through techniques like inherent requirements) forcing voluntary associations to compromise their values integrity by having to host and endorse views contrary to their values on contestable issues.
Mark Sneddon is Director of the Institute for Civil Society, a new think tank, and a partner at Holley Nethercote Lawyers.
Listen here to Mark Sneddon's talk.