House debates

Wednesday, 9 February 2022


Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2021; Consideration in Detail

4:14 am

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | Hansard source

I move amendment (3), standing in my name:

(3) Schedule 1, page 6 (after line 10), at the end of the Schedule, add:

10 At the end of section 37


(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(d), it is unlawful for an educational institution that is conducted in accordance with the doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings of a particular religion or creed to discriminate against a student or prospective student on the ground of the student's or prospective student's sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or relationship status or pregnancy.

11 Subsection 38(3)

Repeal the subsection.

From listening to the speeches in this place today and yesterday, I know there are many members who are deeply concerned about the wellbeing of LGBTQIA student. LGBTQIA students experience far higher rates of bullying and depression than their peers, and are significantly more likely to attempt suicide as young adults. Research has found that faith based schools that discourage the disclosure of sexual diversity and which fail to establish safe and inclusive learning environments for students with diverse sexualities exacerbate these statistics.

This amendment repeals subsection 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act. Repealing subsection 38 (3) will remove the exception that allows religious educational institutions to discriminate in connection with the provision of education or training. This is a small amendment in size but is an incredibly important amendment. It will go some way towards protecting LGBTQIA students from sex and gender discrimination in religious educational institutions.

I urge all members in this place to consider this amendment thoughtfully, and I seek their support for vulnerable children and young people.


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