FEDERAL GOV'T ABANDONS LGBTIQ STUDENTS
VIC, NSW & WA GOVT'S MUST STEP UP
“Clearly, the Federal Government’s is more interested in pushing laws allowing discrimination in the name of religion than protecting children from discrimination, so the states must step up." - Rodney Croome
National advocacy group Just.Equal has accused the Federal Government of leaving LGBTIQ students and rainbow families vulnerable to discrimination from faith-based schools.
Yesterday, it was revealed that Federal Attorney, General Christian Porter, has delayed the reporting date of the Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into religious schools being able to expel LGBTIQ students or refuse enrolment from rainbow families.
While Tasmania, Queensland, the ACT and Northern Territory outlaw such discrimination, other states do not provide such protections and there is no Commonwealth protection.
Spokesperson for Just.Equal, Rodney Croome, said by delaying the report the Attorney was just "kicking the can down the road" and using the same tactics to frustrate reform as were used to stymie marriage equality.
“The ACLR inquiry was established to review the issue of LGBTIQ students in religious schools and to implement Scott Morrison’s promise to end discrimination against them before Christmas 2018."
“But now the Government is saying it won’t release the ALRC report until a full year after the Religious Discrimination Bill becomes law."
"That Bill hasn’t even been tabled yet and there is no guarantee it will even pass through parliament, so what happens then?"
Mr Croome said given the timeframes involved it was unlikely this matter would be addressed before the next federal election.
“Clearly, the Federal Government’s is more interested in pushing laws allowing discrimination in the name of religion than protecting children from discrimination, so the states must step up."
“Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia no longer have excuses for ignoring this issue or failing to act. Other states have outlawed this discrimination against students, and there is no point in deferring to the Federal Government for leadership,” Mr Croome said.
In April 2018, Just.Equal commissioned YouGov Galaxy to survey people on the issue of discrimination against LGBTI students and teachers by faith-based schools.
The polling of more than 1,000 Australians nationwide, found 82% do not believe religious schools should be allowed to expel LGBTIQ students, and 78% said faith-based schools which discriminate against LGBTIQ students and teachers should not be entitled to public funding.
The following notice from the ACLR has the new timeline for its report (twelve months after the Religious Discrimination Bill passes). This notice was revealed to stakeholders yesterday:
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome 0409 010 668.