Over many years I have heard from LGBTI students and students with LGBTI parents about the discrimination they have faced in our nation’s schools. I have even had friends and family experience this kind of discrimination.
It has caused great distress, significant metal health impacts and at times caused young people to leave school and not finish their education, with a lifelong impact on their future.
Most religious schools don’t actively discriminate. However, the fact that they retain the power to do so can also mean that young people having a hard time with bullying simply don’t always come forward to get the support that they need.
I’m pleased the Prime Minister has listened to the Leader of the Opposition’s call 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 and gender identity.
As Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Equality, as a member of the LGBTI community and as a parent I know how important these protections are for families and children.
I add to the community pleas that no young person should be subject to discrimination at school.
In today’s day and age our children’s right to an education should be our first and foremost responsibility.