Row over Australia plan to let faith schools reject gay students

Row over Australia plan to let faith schools reject gay students

"It's hard to comment without seeing the report, but our general proposition is Labour doesn't expand discrimination opportunities", Ms Plibersek said.

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.

Recently when the senate passed a motion demanding the report be released, Senator Mathias Cormann said it could not be made public because it was now being considered by cabinet.

The proposal, contained in a review into religious freedoms handed to the Coalition in May, would give people of faith the same rights as others protected by anti-discrimination laws, Fairfax reported on Thursday.

Outspoken independent senator Derryn Hinch will move a motion next week calling for private schools to be stripped of public funding if they exercise their right to exclude gay students or teachers.

"To some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance", the review says, according to Fairfax Media.

The measure would only affect students, as schools set up for religious purposes already have the right to take such matters into account when hiring staff or contractors.

While the review's primary recommendation - to entrench the power of religious schools to discriminate on the basis of sexuality - appears dead on arrival due to Senate opposition, LGBTI advocates agree in theory that discrimination on the basis of religion should be outlawed.

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"We're going to protect religious freedom and we're not going to allow discrimination against children", he said.

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.

They also do not recommend any changes to the Marriage Act or recommend a dedicated Religious Freedom Act that would allow religious organisations to be exempted from anti-discrimination laws.

"What kind of adult wants to turn away a child, wants to reject a kid because they are gay".

"We think all people should be considered equally for employment or enrolment", he said.

It also did not accept that businesses should be allowed to refuse services on religious grounds, warning that this could "encroach on other human rights".

But Special Minister of State Alex Hawke strongly supports the proposal, saying it is up to individual Christian schools to negotiate their handling of gay students.

The panel's recommendation does not go so far as to allow schools to discriminate on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status, and called on any state legislation allowing that to be repealed.

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