Religious discrimination review can’t be a trojan horse for hate

Australian Greens

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s review into religious educational institutions and anti-discrimination laws will be tabled in Parliament this week ahead of Labor’s Religious Discrimination Bill anticipated to be tabled in the coming months.

The mere debate around Scott Morrison’s 2018 bill gave far right activists licence to peddle anti-LGBTIQA+ hate in our media and community.

The Greens will be carefully considering the report and Labor’s bill when it’s tabled.

As stated by Stephen Bates MP, Australian Greens LGBTIQA+ spokesperson

We’ve been through this already in 2018 when Scott Morrison’s bill unleashed a torrent of LGBTIQA+ hate in our political system, our media and our community.

Anti-discrimination laws can’t be a trojan horse for other kinds of discrimination. Right now, religious institutions running schools, aged care, disability services, social housing and hospitals deny people of their rights to be themselves or access to services they’re entitled to.

Last time, Labor stopped short of extending protections to LGBTIQA+ staff. The LGBTIQA+ community should not have to wait their turn when it comes to anti-discrimination law.

We can’t afford this debate to act as cover for more hate and division in our community.

We want to work with Labor over the next few months to get the laws right to make sure people are free to practise their faith without discrimination and that people who rely on religious institutions for employment, social services or community aren’t discriminated against either.

As stated by Senator Penny Allman-Payne, Australian Greens schools spokesperson

Australia’s fee-charging private schools received $20 billion in combined government funding in 2022.

Why should private religious institutions subsidised from the public purse be exempted from the rules that apply to public schools?

Our kids deserve an enriching school experience that exposes them to the full diversity of Australian life.

Allowing some of the most privileged schools in the country to discriminate against staff on the grounds of their gender or sexual orientation perpetuates prejudice and division and must be consigned to the dustbin of history.

/Public Release. View in full here.