Tuesday March 29th 2022
Labor called on to answer questions about LGBTQ+ teachers
Just.Equal Australia has written to Labor’s Shadow Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, asking him to clarify Opposition policy on LGBTQ+ teachers in faith-based schools.
Spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said Labor’s stance during the Religious Discrimination Bill debate was at times vague, contradictory and discriminatory.
“Labor made it clear it would protect LGBTQ+ students, however, its position on teachers and other workers in faith-based organisations is worrying,” Croome said.
On February 10th, Labor Leader Mr Albanese released a statement saying:
‘Labor would protect teachers from discrimination at work, whilst maintaining the right of religious schools to preference people of their faith in the selection of staff.’
Mr Croome said the statement suggests working LGBTQ+ teachers and staff could be protected from discrimination under a Labor Government, but that faith schools will be permitted to deny employment to LGBTQ+ teachers and staff at the point of recruitment.
Labor also voted for a section of the Coalition's Religious Discrimination Bill that overrode existing discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ teachers in faith-based schools in Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and Queensland.
That vote broke Labor's promise not to override existing state or territory discrimination protections for LGBTIQ+ people.
Mr Croome said,
“We have written to Mr Dreyfus asking him a series of questions to clarify Labor's confused and worrying position."
"We want to know if a Labor Government will prohibit all discrimination against LGBTQ+ teachers including at the point of recruitment."
“We want to know if a Labor Government will respect existing state and territory laws protecting teachers in faith-based schools."
“And we want to know if a Labor Government will rule out allowing faith-based schools to discriminate against LGBTQ+ teachers under cover of a school's 'religious ethos'."
Just.Equal has also asked if Labor will protect LGBTQ+ employees working in faith-based services such as employment and housing providers, charities, health centres, and aged care facilities.
“Labor has so far made no public statements with regard to LGBTQ+ workers in publicly funded faith-based services."
Mr Croome said Just.Equal will continue to highlight the policies of all political parties, and seek improvements, in the lead up to the federal election expected in May.
To take Just.Equal's federal election priorities survey click here
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.