a year ago
Previously, the Typical Student team told you about how Religious Schools Are Legally Allowed to Reject Gay Students. However, over the past week, the LGBTQ+ students’ problems in Australia seem to have taken a nastier turn. As told by SBS news outlet, the “hopes of a political compromise on protections against discrimination for LGBTQ+ students are waning.” Earlier, PM Scott Morrison promised to amend the discriminatory law against gay students by the end of 2018.
Political Confrontation Around Sex Discrimination Act
As we told you before, Labor proposed amendments to section 37 of the Sex Discrimination Act. The change basically "included exemptions for religious schools since its introduction in 1983, would strip non-government schools of the power to exclude or expel students on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."
However, as a result of off-table negotiations, the government proposed new amendments, that have been supported by senators Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick of the Centre Alliance. According to what Labor's legal advice said, the governmental amendments "would widen the grounds for discrimination against gay students."
As of now, the situation seems to get a bit absurd as with increasing support for government changes to the bill, Labor could be forced to vote against its own legislation to protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination in religious schools.
Australia’s Religious Leaders Against Labor’s Amendments
As told by SBS, Australia's religious leaders have concerns “the opposition's plan would extend to churches, synagogues, mosques and temples where religion is taught.”
Senator Penny Wong commented on this as follows: "Nothing in this bill would compromise the ability of religious institutions to operate consistently with religious teaching, whether in the classroom or through the enforcement of school rules."
Attorney-General Christian Porter believes the amendments put forward by the Labor are “radical overreach” commenting: "Labor's amendment would strip that protection away and that would make unlawful all practices of a teaching and instructive nature."
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