It’s 1000 days since PM Scott Morrison said he’d protect LGBTIQ+ kids

Scott Morrison

An LGBT student who was in year 7 when Scott Morrison first promised to protect them will have already finished school before he finally gets around to doing anything about it – and that’s if he ever does.

Alastair Lawrie

Today marks 1,000 days since Prime Minister Scott Morrison first committed to protecting LGBT students in taxpayer-funded religious schools against discrimination. A promise he has since failed to honour, say LGBTIQ+ rights group just.equal.

In the wake of the details of the Ruddock Review leaking to the media, which highlighted that religious based schools retained the ability to expel students or fire staff if they were discovered to be gay, bisexual, or transgender, the PM said he’d close the loophole within a fortnight. The Prime Minister gave the commitment in October 2018.

just.equal Australia has called on the Prime Minister to take urgent action to protect thousands of vulnerable LGBT young people saying he has left them exposed to potential mistreatment.

“All students should have the right to learn in a safe environment, free from worrying about whether their own school will discriminate against them just because of who they are,” just.equal’s Rodney Croome said.

“Scott Morrison must immediately do what he promised to do 1,000 days ago – repeal the special legal privileges allowing religious schools to mistreat, and even expel, LGBT kids.”

“There are thousands, and possibly tens of thousands, of LGBT children who will start term 3 later this month with the debilitating fear of being discriminated against, on top of their studies, on top of the challenge of learning in a pandemic.”

“Research shows the stigma, discrimination and bullying experienced by LGBT students lead to lower academic achievement and higher levels of depression, anxiety and suicide.”

“LGBT students are being weighed down by an unfair burden, but one that could be removed very easily and quickly if only the Morrison Government wanted to.”

While Queensland, Tasmania, the ACT and Northern Territory have all amended their anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT students, discrimination is still legally allowed in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

“The quickest way to ensure all students around the country enjoy the right to learn, irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity, is for the Morrison Government to amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984,’ just.equal Australia board member Alastair Lawrie said.

Instead, former Attorney-General Porter Christian Porter referred the issue of religious exceptions to the Australian Law Reform Commission for review – and then delayed their reporting date until “12 months from the date the Religious Discrimination Bill is passed.”

Based on current timelines, that means the ALRC would report in late 2022 at the earliest, with possible legislation in 2023, taking effect in 2024.

“An LGBT student who was in year 7 when Scott Morrison first promised to protect them will have already finished school before he finally gets around to doing anything about it – and that’s if he ever does,” Lawrie added.

“LGBT kids need protection, not prejudice. LGBT kids deserve action, not being abandoned by a Prime Minister who has yet to honour his promise,” Rodney Croome said.

OIP Staff, image has been digitally altered.


You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments