Faith-based schools in Australia can already legally select students based on sexual orientation, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said as a debate raged over a controversial religious freedom proposal to enshrine that right in federal law leaked this week.
A Fairfax Media report revealed late Tuesday that a religious freedom review panel chaired by former Liberal minister Phillip Ruddock recommends guaranteeing the right of faith-based schools to choose students who uphold their religious convictions in federal law to ensure a consistent national approach.
“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,” the report says, according to Fairfax media.
“To the extent that this can be done in the context of appropriate safeguards for the rights and mental health of the child, the panel accepts their right to select, or preference, students who uphold the religious convictions of that school community,” it continues.
According to news.com.au, some states in Australia already allow schools to choose members of their school community on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status. There are also some commonwealth laws that allow faith-based schools to do this as well.
“We’re not proposing to change that law to take away that existing arrangement,” Morrison told reporters this week.
Gay rights advocates and members of the opposition Labor Party are not happy with the proposal, arguing that the recommendation is proposing ways to discriminate.
Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post