Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Leaked report suggests Aussie schools want to expel gay students

Leaked report suggests Aussie schools want to expel gay students

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has no plans to change laws that allow religious schools to reject gay students.

On Thursday the Greens sought to capitalise on anger about the Ruddock review proposals by promising to push to repeal existing exemptions that allow religious schools to discriminate against staff and students.

"This idea that there is discrimination in Australian religious schools is false".

The report, which is chaired by former attorney-general Philip Ruddock, was ordered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison after the legalisation of gay marriage prompted fears that people's religious freedom may be infringed.

"There is a wide variety of religious schools in Australia and ... to some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance", Fairfax Media quoted the report as saying.

"The fact is every children is entitled to human dignity".

"It will be released with a response from the Government, once we're in a position to advise our comprehensive response to that report, and once we've carefully considered and respectfully considered all the measures and recommendations and proposals that have been put forward", he said.

Debate about religious schools' right to discriminate flared in November a year ago after it was revealed a gay relief teacher was removedJU from the roster at South Coast Baptist College in Waikiki after revealing that he was in a same-sex relationship.

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Other members of the religious freedoms panel include Human Rights Commission president Rosalind Croucher, former Federal Court judge Annabelle Bennett and Australian Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer Frank Brennan.

"Everyone of faith feels the pressure ... it's a constant pressure from the left of society on people of faith", he said.

Labor Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek said her party was fundamentally opposed to increasing discrimination.

"As a human being and as a mother, the idea that adults would be discriminating against or rejecting children seems to me pretty bad", Ms Plibersek told Sky News earlier today.

Alex Greenwich, an MP from Sydney and a gay rights activist, said he was concerned about the divisiveness of the report.

Part of the Ruddock review into religious protections has been leaked - and one recommendation is guaranteeing the existing right of religious schools to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.

The panel did not accept that businesses should be allowed to refuse services on religious grounds, such as denying a gay couple a wedding cake.

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