Media Release
Monday April 15th 2024


Just.Equal Australia has called on the Albanese Government to abandon attempts to work with the Opposition to prohibit LGBTQ+ discrimination by faith-based schools, and negotiate with the cross-bench instead.

The call came after the Opposition's spokesperson, Senator Michaelia Cash, said it requires a "positive right" not only allowing faith-based schools to discriminate but overriding existing state and territory laws preventing LGBTQ+ discrimination.

Just.Equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

"The Coalition is trying to kill off the push to end LGBTQ+ discrimination in faith-based schools by issuing ever more extreme demands."

"The Morrison Government's Religious Discrimination Bill attempted to override Tasmanian LGBTIQ+ hate speech laws, but now Michaelia Cash has gone one step further by calling for state and territory discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students and teachers in faith-based schools to be rolled back."

"Clearly, any law the Albanese Government negotiates with the Opposition is a law we will have to reject."

"We call on the Government to negotiate with the cross-bench instead because they are likely to take a more reasonable and constructive approach."

On Monday, News Ltd newspapers reported that Senator Cash said,

"It was essential the federal laws [for religious freedom] would override state and territory anti-discrimination rules."

“'The Prime Minister should guarantee that religious schools are able to ensure that their staff members’ conduct and behaviour adheres to the school’s religious ethos', she said."

Her call comes after the head of a recent Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry that recommended ending anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination by faith-based schools, Justice Stpehen Rothman, undermined his own report by saying he supports a "positive right" allowing faith-based schools to discriminate.

Spokesperson for Just.Equal, Rodney Croome, said the latest statement from the Coalition exposes the real motive behind the push for 'religious freedom'.".

"The push for a so-called 'positive right' for 'religious freedom' is really about rolling back existing discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people."

"Senator Cash has finally let the cat out of the bag."

Victoria, Queensland, the ACT, the Northern Territory and Tasmania all have laws that provide some protection from discrimination for LGBTQ+ people in faith-based schools, Tasmania for over a quarter of a century.

Mr Croome went on to demand the Albanese Government meet with a wide range of representatives of the LGBTQ+ community.

"News reports regularly cite the Prime Minister's meetings with religious leaders, but as far as we know he is not meeting with representatives of the community most affected, the LGBTQ+ community."

For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.