Australia Seeks to Ban Schools From Expelling Gay Students After Public Outcry

Sergio Conner
October 18, 2018

Religious schools have not been excluding LGBT students despite Labor introducing the current arrangements in 2013, he stressed.

Mr Morrison has asked Attorney-General Christian Porter to prepare amendments to Federal anti-discrimination laws, in a bid to quell "unnecessary confusion and anxiety" over the leaked Ruddock report on religious freedoms.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday said that religious schools will be prevented from expelling students on the basis of their sexuality under new laws to be introduced by his government.

The legislation to repeal exemptions that now allow private schools to discriminate against gay students on religious grounds is expected to pass Parliament with Labor's backing, after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten wrote to the PM last night to offer bipartisan support. Dave Sharma, Liberal candidate for Wentworth, also said he believed independent schools should "absolutely not" have the right to discriminate against gay teachers.

The statement, which urged parliament to tackle the issue over the next two weeks, follows an offer of support by the largest opposition party, Labour, to repeal legal exemptions that allow religious schools to discriminate.

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On Thursday night the Prime Minister appeared on The Bolt Report on Sky News and stated that the government did not support gay kids being expelled. "We just get it done", he said. Hawke said the issue was "manufactured" for political reasons and as most school students were under the age of consent it was a non-issue.

The prime minister said he does not forsee any problems with the position in his own party room.

The report rather proposes that the exemptions afforded to religious schools be retained, and restricted to those schools that have a publicly available policy and prioritise the child's "best interests".

"Given recent misreporting, we have an opportunity here to bring forward a simple amendment to end the confusion". After previously claiming that the Ruddock Review could not be released because it was being considered by cabinet, government ministers spent the first part of the week repetitively stating that they were yet to lay eyes on the report and were unable to comment on it's content. Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Adel Salman told Network Ten religious schools should be able to teach their values, and staff and students should abide by them at school.

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