Wagga MP Joe McGirr has joined a push by One Nation MLC Mark Latham to add religious freedom protections to NSW's anti-discrimination laws, including protection for Christianity.
Mr Latham last week thanked Dr McGirr in Parliament for co-sponsoring his private members bill aimed at outlawing discrimination against a "person's religious beliefs or activities".
Dr McGirr told The Daily Advertiser that he supported the bill because he was not satisfied with NSW's response to a federal panel on religious freedom and he was concerned that doctors did not have the full ability to make a conscientious objection to abortion.
"The Ruddock Review recommended that South Australia and NSW, because they were the only two states that did not have anti-religious discrimination legislation, should have that legislation," he said.
"The government has not acted on that. I asked a question without notice on this and the answer from that did not reassure me that the government is going to act on this."
During last year's parliamentary debate on decriminalisation of abortion in NSW, Dr McGirr called for amendments for doctors who would have a conscientious objection to abortion.
"I was approached by health professionals in Wagga about that," Dr McGirr said.
"Although we did achieve some changes to that legislation, it wasn't complete protection in my view and I think having this bill strengthens that protection."
When introducing his bill to Parliament, Mr Latham said "all forms of discrimination should be outlawed" and "the fastest growing form of discrimination in our society is against people of religious faith, especially Christians".
Wagga Christian leaders have welcomed the debate, with the Catholic Diocese's Father Brendan Lee describing attacks on Christianity as "the last form of discrimination that is allowed".
"You are allowed to mock Christians; the Mardi Gras does it every year," he said.
"You are allowed to mock them on TV and in entertainment and you wouldn't be allowed to do that for any other religion."
South Wagga Anglican Church senior minister Scott Goode said any religious freedom bill "should create space for such respectful dialogue and individual freedom".
"Christians shouldn't impose upon others their way of life, but nor should anyone," he said.
"As Australia becomes increasingly secular and multicultural, we need to ensure that there is space for individual rights, the expression of beliefs according to conscience, and robust debate in the public square."
When asked if he shared Mr Latham's view that Christians were being discriminated against, Dr McGirr said there had been disrespect shown by both sides of the debate over freedom of religion and expression.
"I think we have seen a number of debates in recent years, where on both sides of the debate there has been a lack of respect for people's belief, and that includes a lack of respect for people with Christian beliefs," he said.
"I'd have to say that sometimes there is a lack of respect the other way as well.
"This is a useful reminder that it's an important part of society that people are allowed to express their views in a way that will not mean that they are subjected to discrimination."
The bill also seeks to "prohibit discrimination against people who do not have any religious conviction, belief, opinion or affiliation" and to prevent discrimination claims against a "religious ethos organisation" that is "engaging in certain conduct because of the doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings of the religion of the organisation".
Debate on the bill in Parliament was adjourned last week.