Monday April 22nd 2019
LGBTI lobby group seeks firm Labor commitments on discrimination in religious schools and other services
Advocates for Australia’s LGBTI community have written to Opposition Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, asking him to detail Labor policy on discrimination against teachers in faith-based schools.
Spokesperson for just.equal, Rodney Croome, said that while Federal Labor made clear it supports ending discrimination against LGBTI students in faith schools, its commitment regarding LGBTI teachers and other staff needs urgent clarification.
Mr Croome also asked Labor to clarify its stance on anti-LGBTI discrimination by other faith-based services, including hospitals, social services and charities.
“While Labor has said in general terms it wants to protect LGBTI teachers and other school staff from discrimination in faith schools, we fear its policy may allow indirect discrimination so we want a clear commitment that federal policy matches the standard set in Tasmania where no discrimination is allowed”, Mr Croome said.
"Tasmanian law also prohibits anti-LGBTI discrimination in faith-based organisations like hospitals and we want to know Labor's stance on removing the provisions that allow such discrimination at a federal level."
"While it's true that Labor's policy on LGBTI discrimination is better than Coalition's, this is no excuse for Labor to go to the election with an LGBTI discrimination a policy that delivers less than full equality."
In a letter to Shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, just.equal asked five specific questions about LGBTI discrimination in faith schools and other services with a view to ensuring protections are as good in the continental states as those which already exist in Tasmania.
1. Will discrimination in faith-based schools be prohibited at the point teachers are recruited?
2. Will married LGBTI teachers be protected from discrimination in faith-based schools?
3. How will Labor ensure any provision upholding "religious ethos" not allow indirect discrimination against teachers by faith-based schools?
4. Will Labor move to repeal provisions that allow LGBTI discrimination in other faith-based services such as hospitals, social services etc?
5. Will Labor commit to the anti-discrimination standards across all faith-based services that have prevailed in Tasmania for the last 21 years?
Mr Croome said Labor’s position on students and teachers in faith schools, as well as its position on discrimination by other faith-based organisations, should be publicly detailed before the election.
A copy of the letter to Mark Dreyfus is attached.
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.