Gay students, teachers could be discriminated, according to religious freedom review

Clay Curtis
October 13, 2018

Until the report is formally released the detail won't be clear but there are many ways to undermine LGBTI rights in religious schools and elsewhere without touching Section 38.

"To the extent that some jurisdictions do not now allow religious schools to discriminate against students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender characteristics, the panel sees no need to introduce such provisions".

"It will be released with a response from the Government, once we're in a position to advise our comprehensive response to that report, and once we've carefully considered and respectfully considered all the measures and recommendations and proposals that have been put forward", he said.

Religious schools would be guaranteed the right to reject gay students and teachers through changes to anti-discrimination laws recommended by a long-awaited review into religious freedoms.

"I will move a notice of motion in the Senate, Monday, calling for any private school that discriminates against a teacher or student on sexuality grounds be stripped of all government funds and charity status", Mr Hinch tweeted.

Asked if he thought religious schools should be able to turn away students on the basis of sexual orientation, Morrison replied, "that is the existing law".

"We're going to protect religious freedom and we're not going to allow discrimination against children", he said.

The existing federal law does say it is not "unlawful" to discriminate against someone for their sexuality, gender identity or pregnancy "in connection with the provision of education".

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"What kind of adult wants to turn away a child, wants to reject a kid because they are gay?" she said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says he can't believe the prime minister hasn't ruled out the "silly" idea.

The Coalition set up the review after last year's same-sex marriage debate, in what was seen as a bid to placate opponents who were concerned it would restrict the ability of individuals to practice their religions.

"Everyone of faith feels the pressure ... it's a constant pressure from the left of society on people of faith", he said.

However, the review appeared to have stop short of allowing businesses to opt out of serving LGBTI people on religious grounds, as this would "unnecessarily encroach on other human rights" and "may cause significant harm to vulnerable groups" reported Fairfax.

Schools would have to make their policies on gay staff and students public, the proposals reportedly said.

"The Ruddock inquiry recommendations are direct and shameful assault on the dignity and equality of LGBTI people and we will oppose their implementation tooth and nail".

"Schools can not discriminate against a child or a teacher on the grounds of sexuality".

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