Just.Equal Australia says the extension of time given to an inquiry into anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination by faith-based schools should be used to extend the inquiry to all faith-based services, including hospitals and charities.
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has been granted an eight month extension on its inquiry into exemptions in the Sex Discrimination Act that allow faith-based schools to discriminate against students and staff who are LGBTQ+, unmarried or pregnant.
Just.Equal spokesperson, Sally Goldner, said,
"Discrimination in faith-based hospitals, disability, welfare and employment services and charities is just as serious as discrimination in faith-based schools and should be subject to the current inquiry."
"Those who seek help from faith-based services are often vulnerable and in great need, while staff in these services are under immense pressure to meet this need."
"It is completely unacceptable that these clients and staff members should face the possibility of discrimination because they are LGBTQ+ without any legal protection."
“If it’s wrong to expel LGBTQ+ students and sack LGBTQ+ teachers, then it’s also wrong to discriminate against employees and clients of hospitals, disability, welfare and employment services and charities.”
"We call on the Federal Government and Australian Law Reform Commission to use the eight month extension the current inquiry to include all faith-based services."
Ms Goldner said faith-based aged care facilities are an example of where discrimination protections have worked to protect LGBTQ+ people accessing services.
“This protection has been in place since 2013 without the sky falling in. It’s time it was extended to protect LGBTQ+ staff in aged care services, who are still not protected, as well as employees and people accessing services across other faith-based community services.”
The new deadline for the inquiry can be found here: https://www.alrc.gov.au/inquiry/anti-discrimination-laws/
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Sally Goldner on 0407 946 242.