Attorney-General Christian Porter is now undertaking consultations on his new religious discrimination bill, after releasing a draft that outlined the provisions he says are designed "to protect people of faith" from "unfair" treatment. Superficially perhaps, fair enough.
But there would have been a lot less concern if he had undertaken consultation before drafting the bill, for it has unleashed a storm of quite legitimate concern.
Religious groups, though, have been broadly if not unanimously supportive of the legislation.
Michael Kellahan of Christian legal think tank Freedom for Faith said: "It shouldn't be contentious that we agree that there is such a thing as a need for protection of religious freedom."
He also pointed out the possibility of discrimination being experienced by people of the Jewish and Muslim communities.
Given the increasing outbreaks of Islamophobia and anti-semitism, that's an important point.
The draft bill includes explicit protections for people to express their religious beliefs in a private capacity unless an employer can prove it is a "reasonable" limitation, in a move aimed at addressing the circumstances that led to the sacking of high-profile rugby player Israel Folau earlier this year.
The draft bill also includes clauses relating to indirect discrimination, which is where "an apparently neutral condition has the effect of disadvantaging people of a particular religious belief or who engage in a particular religious activity".
Porter said this would provide an "extra protection" for an employee faced with the same circumstances as Folau's.
Protected religious activity is not defined in the bill, but the explanatory note states that "expression of a religious belief" may be included.
Porter claimed the bill was "not intended to displace state law", responding to concerns from LGBTIQ advocates warning It could undermine state protections against vilification.
Despite these assurances, the bill explicitly overrides Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Act.
This Act prohibits statements which "offend, insult or humiliate" based on protected grounds including gender, race, age, sexual orientation, disability and relationship status.
Provided a person is expressing a genuinely held religious belief in good faith, then that Tasmanian provision will not apply, thus breaching Porter's commitment.
All apparently in a bid to pacify Coalition conservatives who demanded the law prevent a repeat of a case in which the Catholic archbishop of Hobart was sued over anti same-sex marriage leaflets.
Not surprisingly, LGBTIQ advocates have justifiably condemned the federal government's proposed bill, saying the "radical" new laws would give people of religion superior rights that would allow them to discriminate.
The Australian Greens have also criticised the government's proposed bill, warning that it could prove to be a "Trojan horse for hate".
"The far-right of Morrison's party are still trying to get their way, chipping away at the rights of LGBTIQ+ people and other minorities," Greens Senator for Victoria Janet Rice said.
"Any bill that comes to the parliament must ensure all Australians are treated equally."
Equality Tasmania spokesman Rodney Croome said that the federal government was "directly interfering to weaken a Tasmanian human rights law that protects vulnerable people".
"We call on Mr Porter to stick to the promise he made not to interfere with state law, and remove this section."
However, religious beliefs will not be protected if their expression is malicious, would harass, vilify or incite hatred against a group or advocate for the commission of a serious criminal offence.
Crikey.com's recent article, which was aptly titled "Flaw and order: the religious freedom bill is a godawful mess", pointed to an even broader concern about the government's draft bill.
Which is that it "draws the state further into the surveillance and shaping of everyday life, which ordinarily would terrify small-government conservatives. Not so this time, apparently," as writer Guy Rundle noted.
We are definitely living in strange times when a party formed on a liberal world view becomes the agent of an overbearing state hell bent on interfering with individual conduct.
Of course, what we need much more than this unholy mess is something we are desperately in need of.
And that is, an honest to goodness bill of rights, with a genuine free speech clause - something most Australians might not be aware we lack.
At this stage Mr Porter's is only a draft bill, so we will wait to see if Liberal MPs can live up to the name of their party and vote against it.