CALL ON FEDS TO ADOPT TASSIE MODEL
Equality advocates have rejected proposed legislation by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, which he claims will end discrimination against LGBTI students in faith-schools.
Spokesperson for just.equal, Rodney Croome, said the rushed bill put forward by the Prime Minister is “deeply flawed”, and would likely make things worse, not better.
“The legislation announced today allows discrimination to continue against LGBTI students, and potentially broadens it out to other students.”
“This bill is deeply flawed and should be voted down by all MPs who want faith-based schools to be safe and productive learning environments.”
“Tasmania banned anti-LGBTI discrimination in faith-based schools twenty years ago without the sky falling in, and I urge all sides of federal politics to adopt the Tasmanian model.”
Mr Croome added that LGBTI teachers in faith-based schools should also be protected from discrimination, as they are in Tasmania.
The following concerns about the Government bill are taken from a paper prepared by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in regard to the same provisions when they were previously released (link here):
1. The Government’s bill does not limit the general exception in the Sex Discrimination Act (section 37(1)(d)), which means religious schools can still discriminate against LGBTI students.
2. The Government’s amendments to “indirect discrimination” add unnecessary confusion and complexity.
3. The “teaching activity” provision in the legislation applies to all attributes covered in the Act. It excuses direct and indirect discrimination. Indeed, it is so broad it is hard to see what wouldn’t be allowed.
In April this year, national polling commissioned by just.equal and conducted by YouGov/Galaxy found:
• 82% of voters do not support the current law to expel LGBTI students from faith schools.
• 79% of Australians say LGBTI teachers should not be dismissed from faith schools.
• 78% of Australians say religious schools should not be entitled to tax-payer funding if they discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender teachers and students.