LGBTI advocates urge Labor to commit to ending discrimination in schools

Australian LGBTI advocacy group just.equal have written to Opposition Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, asking him to detail Labor’s policy on discrimination against teachers in faith-based schools.

Spokesperson for just.equal and veteran activist Rodney Croome says that while federal Labor have made it clear they support ending discrimination against LGBTI students, its commitment regarding LGBTI teachers and other staff needs clarification.

“While Labor has said in general terms it wants to protect LGBTI teachers and other school staff from discrimination in faith schools, we fear its policy may allow indirect discrimination so we want a clear commitment that federal policy matches the standard set in Tasmania where no discrimination is allowed,” Croome said.

“Tasmanian law also prohibits anti-LGBTI discrimination in faith-based organisations like hospitals and we want to know Labor’s stance on removing the provisions that allow such discrimination at a federal level.”

“While it’s true that Labor’s policy on LGBTI discrimination is better than Coalition’s, this is no excuse for Labor to go to the election with an LGBTI discrimination policy that delivers less than full equality.

A senate inquiry moved by Labor and the cross-bench late last year recommended that faith-based schools should not be able to discriminate against students on the grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation, and that further consideration should be given to amending the Sex Discrimination Act to protect staff and students from discrimination – making specific reference to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act.

“We support the removal of discrimination against LGBTI kids and staff in schools,” Dreyfus and deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said in a joint statement ahead of the inquiry.

“This inquiry will mean the government have no more excuses not to get on with the job of ending discrimination once and for all.”

OIP Staff