Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has signalled his intention to push for religious freedom reforms in the new parliament, saying that freedom of speech and freedom of religion are "in the DNA of every true Liberal".
Senator Abetz's comments come after he called for an investigation into controversial rugby star Israel Folau's sacking.
Mr Folau's contract with Rugby Australia was terminated on May 17 - the day before the federal election - after he posted a homophobic image on social media in April which said gay people would go to hell.
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Following his sacking, Mr Folau said Australians were born with "certain rights" including the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression.
On Friday, Senator Abetz, a vocal critic of Australia's anti-discrimination laws, wrote to the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Australian Human Rights Commission to request they investigate the decision to terminate Mr Folau's contract.
In writing to Ombudsman Sandra Parker, Senator Abetz stated that the dismissal of Mr Folau could be in breach of the Fair Work Act. He cited sections 342 and 351 of the act, which prohibit employers from engaging in adverse action and discrimination against an employee.
To the President of the AHRC, Senator Abetz wrote: "While of course it is open to an employee ... to make such a claim to the commission, given the intense public speculation on this matter, I believe it is in the interests of employees and their employers that you specifically consider and investigate this matter".
Senator Abetz told The Examiner on Saturday that he would like to see the Liberal Party ensure that the "fundamental rights" of freedom of religion and freedom of expression be "given protection".
"The fundamental point of the need to protect freedom of speech and freedom of religion is in the DNA of every true Liberal and that is why I am seeking to pursue it," he said.
"I thought about these issues [regarding Mr Folau] during the election and then after the election was able to devote my time to it a bit more and give some considered thought [to it].
"In this parliament, we've got a majority in the lower house and, in the Senate, depending on how things fall, there may be a very real opportunity to bring about some fundamental reform to protect individual freedoms."
Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter is expected to table religious discrimination legislation in the parliament later this year, perhaps as early as July.
Mr Porter said on radio on Thursday that the broad intention of the legislation would be to give religion the same weight in Australia's anti-discrimination laws as sexuality, age, race and disability.
In this parliament ... there may be a very real opportunity to bring about some fundamental reform to protect individual freedoms.Senator Eric Abetz
Senator Abetz said the legislation should be "robust" in "ensuring that fundamental rights that used to be an absolute given in our community are restored to people".
"The vast bulk of people in Australia just get that it is completely unacceptable that Israel Folau has been treated in the way that he has," Senator Abetz said. "You don't have to be a man or woman of faith of any kind to understand the huge injustice that has been dealt to Israel Folau."
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said he was glad Senator Abetz had "seen the value of laws and tribunals that protect human rights".
"The solution to the Israel Folau dispute, and to any conflict between competing rights and freedoms, is a national human rights act that protects everyone equally," he said.
"The solution is not a law that only deals with religious freedom because it could allow discrimination against LGBTI people and other minorities in the name of religion."
Former National Party leader Barnaby Joyce and right-wing New South Wales Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells this week told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age of their desire to push for stronger religious freedom laws.