Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the government will not accept the Ruddock review into religious protections that recommends current laws that allow schools the ability to expel a student based on their sexuality should remain. Further announcing that the government will move to amend the law to remove that right.
A paragraph from the unreleased review was leaked to the media last week, causing confusion that the Morrison government was planning to introduce the law based on the recommendation.
Speaking to the media over the weekend at a press conference in Adelaide, Morrison addressed public “anxiety” and “confusion” by saying that the government will introduce amendments to the law to make it clear that no student of a non-state school could be expelled on the basis of their sexuality.
The law that allows schools to expel a student based on their sexuality was introduced by the Gillard government in 2012.
“Our Government does not support the expulsion of students from religious non-state schools on the basis of their sexuality,” Morrison said.
“I also know that this view is widely shared by religious schools and communities across the country.”
“I believe this view is shared across the Parliament and we should use the next fortnight to ensure this matter is addressed,” Morrison added.
A Fairfax-Ipsos survey released over the weekend found that 74 per cent of Australian voters oppose laws allowing religious schools to discriminate against LGBT students and teachers.
The survey also found that 30 per cent of Coalition voters, 15 per cent of Labor votes, and 7 per cent of Green voters supported the current law.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has confirmed his party will support the government in passing a bill to amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to remove the exemptions that currently allow religious schools to discriminate against children on the basis of their sexual orientation.