Australians will gather in Melbourne on Saturday (9 February) to demand an end to discrimination of LGBTI staff and students in schools.
The Liberal Party-led ruling coalition has failed to introduce nationwide legislation that would protect LGBTI students and staff.
While some states have anti-discrimination, federal laws allow faith schools to discriminate under ‘religious freedom’ laws.
‘Many LGBTIQ Students and teachers are being forced to stay in the closet’ organizers Equality Australia wrote on Facebook.
‘Teachers and students who do come out will risk expulsion or losing their jobs’.
Worryingly, a government inquiry released last year said federal anti-discrimination law should allow religious schools to turn away LGBTI staff and students
The government launched the review to placate conservatives after Australia legalized same-sex marriage late last year.
Although Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would end discrimination of students based on sexuality, he has not committed to ending the discrimination against LGBITQ teachers, and transgender students, Equality Australia said.
— EqualityAustralia (@EqualityAu) February 7, 2019
Last year, Australians slammed the government’s anti-discrimination bill. The Greens called it a ‘Trojan horse’.
‘Words fail me’, Labor MP Julia Hill wrote on Twitter. ‘How bloody hard is it? Just don’t discriminate against gay kids’. It failed to pass parliament before the summer break.
Rights groups have also denounced Morrison for comments against LGBTI Australians since he took office. Last week, Anna Wintour called him out for his anti-LGBTI stance.
Within the first few days of taking office, the Pentecostal Christian made comments against support for trans and gender diverse kids in schools.
‘We do not need “gender whisperers” in our schools,’ he tweeted. ‘Let kids be kids.’ He also said LGBTI conversion therapy is ‘not an issue’ for him.
‘Morrison is attempting to window dress his government’s bigotry by claiming they are protecting multiculturalism but nothing could be further from the truth’ the group said.
Supporters will gather at 11:30am at the State Library of Victoria. Speakers include Anna Brow of Equality Australia.
Author: Rik Glauert
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