Israel Folau has a right to express his 'utterly dopey' opinions, says Barnaby Joyce

Australian Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce says people should be able to express "completely and utterly dopey" opinions under new religious freedom laws.

Joyce illustrated his point with the recent sacking of rugby player Israel Folau, saying his homophobic views should not have been an issue unless they affected his ability to perform at work. 

"I think a lot of what Israel Folau said is just completely and utterly dopey. But it's his right to be dopey," the former deputy Prime Minister told ABC Radio National on Monday.

"If you're employed to hit a golf ball and you believe if you jump over a broomstick you go to the fairy garden at the bottom of the hill, then that is your belief.

"It's got nothing to do with how you hit a golf ball.

"We've got people who are a pain in the arse and they're in every office, but we can't just go around sacking them because they're annoying," he said.

"If someone is a complete and utter dill, then they're going to find themselves socially isolated and out of the job."

Joyce attended a workshop for coalition MPs on Friday regarding the proposed religious freedom laws, 9 News reports.

A religious discrimination act is to be introduced to parliament later this year. The bill could include a clause regarding indirect discrimination. 

The former Waratahs fullback received backlash for a social media post expressing his view that "homosexuals", among others, would go to hell unless they repented. Folau was sacked after another post containing extreme religious views was found in breach of his contract.

Folau is currently undertaking legal action against Rugby Australia, arguing he was wrongfully dismissed on religious grounds under section 772 of the Fair Work Act. He is seeking $10 million in damages.