Religious organisations in the Northern Territory would no longer be permitted to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity under proposed laws introduced into the parliament this week.
IEU members heard
The move to amend anti-discrimination legislation comes after strong advocacy from our union that religious discrimination exemptions are unnecessary and cause harm to vulnerable staff and students.
In our union’s submission on the territory government’s proposed Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2022, we reinforced the following key principles:
- All staff and students in schools deserve safe workplaces/learning environments; and staff and students in schools should not be discriminated against on the basis of their personal lives.
- Practices in faith-based schools, and indeed in any endeavour conducted for the public by faith-based organisations, should reflect community standards and expectations. This is especially the case when such organisations are in receipt of public funds.
- Faith-based schools have the capacity and resilience to continue to operate in the absence of discrimination exemptions.