Row over Australia plan to let faith schools reject gay students

A religious freedoms report apparently recommends schools to reject gay students and teachers.                    Creative Commons

The Herald revealed on Tuesday that the Federal government has received a report by Liberal Party elder Philip Ruddock on "religious freedom" which recommends changes to the law protecting LGBTI people from sex discrimination in religious schools.

"Not only is that review now considered outdated, but the vast majority of its recommendations were never implemented", Mr Quigley said.

"We have not sought concessions to discriminate against students or teachers based on their sexuality, gender identity or relationship status".

They are contained in a report into religious freedom that was commissioned after same-sex marriage was made legal a year ago.

Wentworth has a large gay community, as well as a significant number of Jewish voters.

It said: 'There is a wide variety of religious schools in Australia and ... to some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance.

Premier Mark McGowan said he was "personally uncomfortable" with religious schools discriminating against gay students and teachers, but the review would look at what reforms were necessary.

A leaked report that has recommended schools be able to bar gay students from attending has been slammed as "utter crap" and "silly" by politicians and discrimination by human rights campaigners.

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But, according to Fairfax, it says people of faith are entitled to "equal and effective protection" alongside sanctions against discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin.

Students at religious schools (not pictured) could be turned away depending on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek told ABC it was a "disturbing proposition".

"What kind of adult wants to turn away a child, wants to reject a kid because they are gay".

Senator Derryn Hinch says schools that throw out gay teens or teachers should be stripped of government funding.

Mr Morrison acknowledged he should have expressed his opinion on Wednesday and said he was happy to take the criticism. "We shouldn't even be having this debate", said opposition leader Bill Shorten.

A report from an independent review of religious freedoms has been sitting with the government for five months, but has not been publicly released. The report apparently warns the government off making any radical changes to anti-discrimination laws such as allowing businesses such as bakers or florists to refuse to service customers because they are opposed to same-sex marriages.

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