Remove religious exemption, says COGSO

2456 Tabby Fudge OK

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – We are calling on the Prime Minister to support the passage of Labor’s Bill to remove discrimination exemptions for religious schools.

 

Currently, Section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act gives religious schools an exemption from the law “in the provision of education”.

 

No school should be exempted from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the principles of equality and non-discrimination to allow them to discriminate against students or staff on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.

 

The current Labor Bill would legislate the protection of LGBTI students from discrimination by repealing exemptions for religious schools.

 

On October 12 Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would ensure amendments are introduced as soon as possible to make it clear that no student of a non – government school should be expelled on the basis of their sexuality.

 

Mr Morrison stated at that time: “I believe this view is shared across the Parliament and we should use the next fortnight to ensure this matter is addressed.

 

“Our government does not support expulsion of students from religious non – state schools on the basis of their sexuality. I also know that this view is widely shared by religious schools and communities across the country.

 

“In addition to Universal Human Rights, our fundamental Australian values of inclusion and acceptance must be protected and enshrined throughout legislation.”

 

There is no ‘good faith’ in exempting religious schools and allowing them to refuse enrolment, expel students or sack school staff based on their sexuality.

 

When the Prime Minister does not act in the best interests of the child or their teachers we are diminished as a community and a nation.

 

Tabby Fudge (pictured)

President of the Northern Territory Council of Government School Organisations

 

 

 

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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. James T Smerk
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I agree with inclusion for all.
    However it does make me wonder why someone who would identify as gay let’s say would want to attend a Christian school, which will preaching hatred (of some form) directed at people like this and this would make bullying more prevalent I would think.
    And I know bullying shouldn’t happen at school but come on now let’s be serious schools have dropped the ball on bullying and they can’t be bothered picking it back up.
    Don’t get me started on the fact these private schools get more funding than public schools too, the system is broken and set up to advantage the already advantaged.

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  2. Ken
    Posted December 4, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Even if you do not know God do you wonder if God wants to know you? For eternal life?

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  3. John Bell
    Posted December 4, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Tabby. As you are no doubt aware, Henry Parkes banned religion from public schools before Federation. Made it secular without any democratic vote.
    Christian and Jewish religion influence in kids’ lives has always been marginalised by the state, so they had to start and fund their own schools as well as pay public school upkeep taxes for 60 years until Bob Menzies gave them a fair go.
    Christian and Jewish schools do not target or bully or expel gay kids who choose to go there. But they do wish to have protected their right to teach Christian and Jewish beliefs.
    Christian and Jewish schools copped it in the neck from anti-religious state education authorities for many years but continue to provide a wonderful support service to supplement the government school system.
    Be fair, Tabby. We don’t target gay kids. We accept them as equal souls in the eye of God. I am 72 and I was always taught that in Catholic schools.
    It is the state secular system that has marginalised us including my Jewish friends.
    By the way, what is your position on Muslim schools? Dare to tackle that one publicly?

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