Politicians and legislators in Australia have confirmed that religious schools will no longer be able to expel LGBT+ students on the grounds of their sexuality alone.
The discourse on discrimination against LGBT+ people in schools comes after the release of the Ruddock report, a leaked document which revealed that some religious schools in Australia were discriminating against, and even expelling LGBT+ students. The revelation sparked a massive outcry amongst the Australian people, with a number of campaigners calling on politicians and legislators to review the scope of ‘religious freedom’ in Australia.
Bill Shorten, the leader of the Labor party in Australia advocated for the protection of both LGBT+ students and staff in schools. He called for legislation that would prevent religious schools from having the ability to hire and fire faculty based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Shorten took to Twitter to show his support for LGBT+ children in the Australian school system:
“As a father, I try and teach my kids to treat everyone with respect. I’ve written to the Prime Minister offering support to remove the current laws which allow discrimination against children because of who they are. It’s the right thing to do.”
As a father, I try to teach my children to treat everyone with respect, and to view everyone as equal.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) October 14, 2018
Moreover, the Ruddock report revealed that teachers were also at risk of discrimination in religious schools.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who opposed gay marriage, spoke about the question of LGBT+ discrimination in schools in Parliament on Monday. He clarified that he opposes discrimination against LGBT+ students in school, but added that protections for LGBT+ teachers are not a priority:
“They are important issues, but the issues we need to address right here and now relate to the children and ensuring we protect them against discrimination.
“There are many other issues that will be addressed as a result of the religious freedoms review, and there will be a time and a place to address those issues.”
The report emerges in the same week another study revealed that up to 10% of young LGBT+ people in Australia may be subjected to gay conversion therapy.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.