Wednesday, 9 February 2022
Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2021; Consideration in Detail
I thank the member for Mayo for moving this important amendment. I indicate that Labor will be supporting this amendment.
The Prime Minister said to me that there's no place in our education system for any form of discrimination against a student on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity when he wrote to me in December, asking me to support the basis of this legislation. This amendment fulfils the spirit of that legislation.
Of course, this was also a promise that was made during the Wentworth by-election in 2018 and was something I'm sure that the various candidates for Wentworth will remind the current member of in the coming period. The truth is that no student should be discriminated against because of who they are. Labor will protect all students, here in this chamber, in the Senate and, if need be, after the next election. We are absolutely committed to this. What we will do in government, if we're not successful here—but we would prefer for this to be carried—is for religious schools to be prohibited from discriminating against students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship or marital status, or pregnancy.
No child should be discriminated against. Overwhelmingly, Australians of faith would agree with this too. Australian families are going to wake up in a few hours and look on, with sadness and anger, if this does not occur. This is something that should unite the parliament, and the entire parliament should support this amendment.