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Schools 'could turn away gay kids, teachers'
13 October 2018, 10:40 | Devin Moran
Australian PM Scott Morrison
A long-awaited report into religious freedoms has reportedly recommended the right be enshrined in the federal Sex Discrimination Act to ensure a consistent national approach.
Controversially, the report calls for the federal Sex Discrimination Act to be altered to allow religious schools to discriminate against students on their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status - something some but not all states already allow.
Morrison said the proposals, which were not yet debated by Cabinet, would be considered "carefully and respectfully".
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended leaked proposals to let religious schools discriminate against gay students, saying that the proposals were already "existing law" in some states.
Religious schools could be given a weapon to discriminate against LGBTI, according to a new report.
'To the extent that this can be done in the context of appropriate safeguards for the rights and mental health of the child, the panel accepts their right to select, or preference, students who uphold the religious convictions of that school community'.
Commonwealth, state and territory legislation present a variety of provisions regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation, and various exemptions for religious schools.
Morrison was commenting on the contents of the leaked report on religious freedom, reigniting debate about what constituted unlawful discrimination against gay people just months after Australia's Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage. "The Government should be protecting kids in schools, not allowing them to be turned away for be gay or trans".
They are contained in a report into religious freedom that was commissioned after same-sex marriage was made legal previous year.
"It's a constant pressure from the left of society on people of faith".
President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, said Catholic schools welcomed staff and students from all backgrounds.
"The Ruddock inquiry recommendations are direct and shameful assault on the dignity and equality of LGBTI people and we will oppose their implementation tooth and nail".
However, the review appeared to have stop short of allowing businesses to opt out of serving LGBTI people on religious grounds, as this would "unnecessarily encroach on other human rights" and "may cause significant harm to vulnerable groups" reported Fairfax. Schools also must publicly available policy that outline their position and regard the best interests of the child as the "primary consideration of its conduct".
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