Media Release
Wednesday April 3, 2019
Sacking LGBTI teachers not a Hastie decision 

Equality advocates have called on the Member for Canning, Andrew Hastie MP, to explain to his electorate why he supports publicly-funded faith schools having the right to deny educational opportunities to LGBTI students and sack LGBTI teachers. 

The call comes in the wake of news yesterday, that Mr Hastie has been rallying religious leaders in his electorate to oppose changes to the law promised by Labor to end this discrimination. 

Spokesperson for Just.Equal, Ivan Hinton-Teoh, said that under existing law LGBTI students and teachers suffer discrimination at church schools, with the two most recent and iconic cases happening in or near Mr Hastie’s electorate.

In 2015, a seven year old girl had to be removed from Mandurah Christian College after the principal discovered she was being raised by two gay dads. 

In 2017, English teacher, Mr Craig Campbell, was sacked from his job at South Coast Baptist College in Waikiki when the school found out he is gay.

"Sexuality or gender identity should never define or limit a citizen's right to access education or employment," Hinton-Teoh said.

Labor has vowed to end this discrimination if elected to government.

Preventing the expulsion of LGBTI kids and sacking of LGBTI teachers is not an attack on religious freedom, it is an attack on unjust prejudice and the vast majority of Australians support this move." 

"It is now up to Mr Hastie to explain to his community the value of oppressing kids and teachers for nothing more than their sexuality or gender identity. It is not freedom he is advocating, it is unjust oppression. Today the majority of fair-minded Australians see it for what it is,
Hinton-Teoh said.  

A YouGov Galaxy Poll commissioned by Just.Equal in May 2018 surveyed 1015 people around Australia. It found little support for special religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws. 

Across Australia:

82 percent of Australians opposed church schools having the right to expel LGBTI students.
79 percent opposed LGBTI teachers being sacked from religious schools if they get married under the new Commonwealth marriage laws. 
78 percent of Australians said church schools should not be entitled to receive taxpayer funds if they discriminate against LGBTI teachers and students.   

Hinton-Teoh said "Tasmanilegislated against this form of discrimination 20 years ago and it has not impeded religious freedom on the island state. Andrew Hastie should stop using the LGBTI community as a political tool to whip up baseless hysteria. We are Australians who just wish to grow up, learn, live & work without being subject to unjust prejudice. To live with equal dignity shouldn't be a political issue leading into the 2019 election."

Hinton-Teoh called on all candidates in the seat of Canning to declare their position on scrapping special religious exemptions for faith schools to protect LGBTI students and teachers.   

For more, contact Ivan Hinton-Teoh on 0419124826.
Click here for a web version.