Advocates are deeply disappointed the Government has refused to prevent discrimination against LGBTI students in faith-based schools, instead handballing the issue to the Law Reform Commission.
A report handing down this afternoon by a Government-dominated Senate committee recommended against passing a Labor bill that would remove laws allowing LGBTI students to be expelled and otherwise discriminated against by faith-based schools.
Instead, the issue will be referred to the Australian Law Reform Commission, effectively delaying it until after the election.
Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"On this day of love, the Government's Valentine's Day gift to LGBTI people is continued discrimination, prejudice and hate."
"LGBTI young people are some of the most vulnerable people in our community and deserve a Government that will look after their well-being, not sacrifice them on the altar of political expediency."
""Yet again this Government's internal divisions and pandering to prejudice means it has failed to deliver fairness and equity for LGBTI Australians."
Mr Croome said the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act has prevented discrimination against LGBTI students and teachers in faith-based schools for over twenty years, "without the sky falling in".
"As someone who has seen the benefits of Tasmania's strong anti-discrimination laws to both LGBTI people and to faith-based schools, I am bewildered why the Tasmanian model isn't immediately adopted nationally."
"We don't need yet another inquiry. We need a Government that will do the right thing."
Labor members of the Senate committee supported the bill with minor amendments. The Greens recommended the inclusion of teachers, other staff and contractors.
In April 2018, national polling commissioned by just.equal and conducted by YouGov/Galaxy found:
• 82% of voters do not support the current law to expel LGBTI students from faith schools.
• 79% of Australians say LGBTI teachers should not be dismissed from faith schools.
• 78% of Australians say religious schools should not be entitled to tax-payer funding if they discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender teachers and students.
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.