Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems to have found another way to shore up the dwindling support for his contentious Religious Discrimination Bill. The new proposal, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, would prohibit faith-based schools from expelling gay students, but they would retain the right to expel trans students.
The newest proposal comes a week after Morrison responded to the Citipointe Christian College’s controversial student enrolment contract to expel gay and trans students.
Christian Organisations Come On Board
The new proposal will amend s38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act along with passing the Religious Discrimination Act. The SDA provision allows faith-based organisations to discriminate on the basis of sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity. The amendment will not scrap the whole provision, but drop sexuality from the list of exceptions to the discrimination law.
Morrison’s new proposal seems to have won the support of some conservative religious organisations, that had been opposed to protections for LGBTQI students.
Moderate Liberals Oppose, Labor Dithers
If Labor rolls over on Religious Discrimination, they're siding with Scott Morrison against his own backbench & the majority of voters. Labor will be the enablers of legislation that will be devastating to women, LGBTQ+ and minority faith people, disabled people and many others.
— Janet Rice (@janet_rice) February 8, 2022
Morrison would still need the support of his Coalition members or the opposition Labor to pass the Bill in parliament.
Some Moderate Liberals had said they would cross the floor to vote against the existing draft of the Bill. Tasmanian Liberal MP Bridget Archer has said she would oppose the Bill over provisions that would override Tasmania’s anti-discrimination law.
The Labor is yet to come out with its position on the bill. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has previously said that people “shouldn’t be discriminated against on the basis of their faith, or their gender, or their sexuality, or their race”.
In an interview with The Conversation, Albanese had stressed on the workability of any legislation. “And the test is – can you ensure that you’re supporting non-discrimination without discriminating against another group? That’s the test here that we’ve said all along we would apply. But I do not believe that anyone should be discriminated against on the basis of their faith,” Albanese had said.
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