Tasmanian Times

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Advocates say Government school discrim bill could make things worse


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.

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  1. Chris

    December 6, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Wots wrong with Morriscum’s instant anti discrimination discrimination bill, he is only pre-emptying Bigfoot’s report readable by xmas, which will include wots in the report and the Internal General standing behind supporting this muppet – on a string!

  2. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    December 5, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    The word ‘discrimination’ means the capacity to distinguish the qualities of things, whether it be determining the palatability of a wine, being able to tell the difference between compassion and indulgence, or considering whether someone’s sexual politics, or that of an entire group, are ‘appropriate’ for children.

    The capacity to discriminate indicates some capacity for critical judgement. One might disagree and argue that the judgement is wrong, but for that you need to make the case.

    Saying someone’s view is ‘discriminatory’ rather begs the question. It is just another example of the tendency to rely on terms that have been turned into accusations of heresy and deviation from the party line. It was a tactic commonly used in the show trials run by the Comintern during the 1930s.

    If you are talking to Muslims who wants a child to be educated in the Muslim faith in a Muslim school, the attitude to off-message sexuality is not going to be negotiable. And to try and force them to accept it is a really terrible idea that will cause a lot of trouble, not just now, but as that community grows from a small minority to a much larger one.

    Islam is tightening its game. Secularism inside Islam is in retreat everywhere. A lot of Muslims have a low opinion of what has happened to the deregulated and privatised sexual politics of latter-day consumer capitalism generally, let alone off-message stuff.

    Mr Groome assumes a continuing libertarian humanist ascendency indefinitely, which is a wildly optimistic assumption given the speed with which the world order that emerged after WW2 is starting to crumble. The secular social infrastructure isn’t travelling all that well either, and the coming environmental catastrophes are on their way as we speak. The world in twenty or thirty years isn’t going to look even remotely like it does now.

    I think upsetting the Islamic community over this is not a good idea. There won’t be immediate consequence, but how much of a gamble on the future are you willing to take, Mr Groome …?

    The Muslim population of Aceh in Western Sumatra fought a 30 year insurgency against the Djakarta government to get the right to administer Sharia Law in their province. They won back in 2007, when the Suharto government fell.

    I’d leave them alone if I were you Mr Groome .. but then, there is no stopping the wilfulness of a self-righteous fool.

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