Gay couples shopping for elaborate wedding cakes can rest easy. The baker you choose will have to make your cake or face discrimination charges. Though we’re unsure why you’d want to give your business to someone who’d rather not have it — and likely won’t do a good job of it.
Gay students hoping to attend their local taxpayer funded religious school, on the other hand, can take a hike. So too can gay teachers, looking for a job doing what they love…teaching kids to read or do their maths.
This is all in accordance with changes to anti-discrimination laws recommended by the federal review into religious freedoms. The changes could see gay students and teachers rejected by religious schools.
The federal review was commissioned after the 2017 national same-sex marriage vote. It was handed to the federal government several months ago but is yet to be released.
Should schools have a right to discriminate?
The recommendations appear to indicate some religious schools fear students’ and teachers’ sexual preferences could be contagious. Or that allowing gay staff and students into the mix will somehow diminish the strength of their own theological views.
Not that their demands for the right to discriminate have kept religious schools from holding out their hands for ever more taxpayer money. Taxes that are paid, in part, by gay teachers and the parents of gay children.
Not surprisingly, many Australians have already slammed the proposal as a shameful assault on equality.
On the other side of the debate, former Liberal minister Phillip Ruddock, who lead the review and report into religious freedoms, believes that schools should be protected by the Sex Discrimination Act should they choose to turn away gay students and teachers.
Already, there are whole states in Australia that allow discrimination due ones gender identity, relationship status and sexual orientation, according to AAP.
According to Fairfax Media, the review states:
‘To some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance…
‘To the extent that this can be done in the context of appropriate safeguards for the rights and mental health of the child, the panel accepts their right to select, or preference, students who uphold the religious convictions of that school community.’
Special Minister of State Alex Hawke also supports the proposal, telling Sky News:
‘I don’t think it’s controversial in Australia that people expect religious schools to teach the practice of their faith and their religion’.
Hawke stated that it should fall onto the shoulders of Christian Schools to decide their stance on gay students.
Furthermore, Mr Hawke confirmed his stance on the matter, stating that people of faith are under attack:
‘Everyone of faith feels the pressure … it’s a constant pressure from the left of society on people of faith’.
If they accept taxpayer money, then they should accept ‘gays’
On the other end of the spectrum, Labor Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek stated that the Labor Party was against any further allowance of discrimination:
‘As a human being and as a mother, the idea that adults would be discriminating against or rejecting children seems to me pretty awful’.
According to AAP, Alex Greenwich — who co-chaired and was a major supporter of the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage — the NSW independent MP wants Prime Minister Scott Morrison to reject the recommendation:
‘The recommendation to increase discrimination in schools against the gay teachers and students is offensive to parents, teachers and school communities…
‘The government should be focusing on reducing, not increasing bullying in schools.’
Schools should be a safe space for all students and teachers. Christian schools are willing to take money from the government, which is provided by the taxpayer. Taxpayers include those who are gay. Schools should not be allowed to discriminate. And if they are, then maybe our taxpayer dollars should be going elsewhere.
PS: The tax burden on Australians has grown by leaps and bounds in our lifetime, and shows little sign of reversing. You may think you know who’s responsible for rising taxes. But as we reveal in our free new report — ‘What you could do to stop Australia’s Tax Freedom Day from blowing out even further in 2018’ — you may have it all wrong…Click here for more.