Advocates have called for Tasmania’s laws governing discrimination in faith-based schools to be adopted nationally.

The call came today during a Senate hearing into federal laws to stop discrimination against LGBTI students in faith-based schools.

Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and relationship status in faith-based schools.

The provisions protect teachers and other staff, as well as students.

Equality Tasmania spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“Discrimination against LGBTI students and teachers in faith-based schools has been prohibited in Tasmania for twenty years.”

“In that time school cultures have become much fairer and more inclusive, and no religious school authority has complained that the law is too onerous.”

“If faith-based schools can operate in Tasmania without exemptions allowing discrimination against LGBTI staff and studnets they can do so across the nation.”

“We call on the federal parliament to adopt the Tasmanian model.”

The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act allows faith-based schools to discriminate on the grounds of a student or teacher’s religion, but Tasmanian legislators have repeatedly made it clear this should not be used as cover to discriminate on other grounds including sexual orientation and gender identity.