The Greens NSW have announced that they will introduce a Private Members Bill to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act next week. The Bill will remove the exemptions that allow private educational authorities and religious organisations to discriminate against members of the LGBTIQ+ community.
Greens NSW Spokesperson for Education, Tamara Smith MP, who will introduce the Bill says:
“The Ruddock Review into Religious Freedom’s leaked recommendation to continue the right to discriminate against LGBTIQ+ students and teachers, while other exemptions should be removed, is shocking," said Ms Smith.
“It is appalling that after viewing the evidence of the impact of the Marriage Equality survey on the mental health of the LGBTIQ+ community that the Federal Government is considering allow this sort of discrimination to continue. We should be removing exemptions for religious schools from anti-discrimination laws, not promoting them.
“Schools that are in receipt of public, taxpayer funding should not have the right to discriminate against any student or staff member from the LGBTIQ+ community or on any other grounds.
“Schools should be welcoming places which support learning and acceptance, not a means to discriminate against students or teachers," said Ms Smith.
NSW Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson, Jenny Leong MP says:
“As it currently stands, the religious exceptions included in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act are the broadest in Australia, our laws give religious bodies a right to discriminate and that is simply unacceptable," said Ms Leong.
“It is time to call out the powerful people – including our so-called political leaders – who are running a protection racket for people and organisations who want to discriminate against our young people and teachers just because of who they are.
“This state-sanctioned discrimination needs to stop now. Today the Greens are here to say to all members of the LGBTIQ community, particularly to young people, 'we’ve got your back'.
“The bullies and haters have gotten their way for too long. It’s time to end discrimination against young and vulnerable people.
“The Greens have long been committed to full equality under the law – with no excuses – and with the announcement that my colleague and Greens Education spokesperson Tamara Smith MP will introduce this bill in the parliament next week – we are making it clear that we will not tolerate the actions of cruel homophobes and transphobes," Ms Leong said.
Update 18 October 2018:
Tamara Smith moved to introduce the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Removal of Exemptions and Other Reforms) Bill 2018 to NSW Parliament. The summary of the bill is as follows:
An Act to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 to remove the exemption of private educational authorities, religious bodies, faith-based organisations and employers who employ no more than 5 persons from certain provisions that make it unlawful to discriminate on certain grounds; and for other purposes.