A prominent Tasmanian LGBTI equality advocate has welcomed the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader’s support for banning discrimination against students in faith-based schools, but called for the move to extend further.
Rodney Croome, spokesperson for just.equal, suggests preventing discrimination across the entire school community was in the best interests of children.
"We welcome the move to prohibit discrimination against kids, but this is only half the job because discrimination against teachers, support staff, and LGBTI parents and their children, remains a problem and must also be brought to an end,” he said.
"Creating a safe learning environment for LGBTI children means banning discrimination across the school community, not just against LGBTI children themselves.
"We call on Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten to make faith-based school communities safe for everyone by banning discrimination against LGBTI teachers and support staff, as well as LGBTI parents and their children."
The comments come after mounting pressure on the government to release the findings of its religious freedom review, led by former Liberal minister Phillip Ruddock.
Cabinet is yet to consider the review, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it would be released before the end of the year – along with the federal government’s response.
Tasmania is the only state where LGBTI teachers, support staff and families are protected against discrimination by faith-based schools.
Mr Croome added that even under Tasmania’s robust anti-discrimination laws religious schools still coped.
"Tasmanian religious schools operate fine without the ability to sack LGBTI teachers, so there's no reason for such discrimination to be allowed in other states or federally,” he said.
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