This afternoon PIAC wrote to Federal MPs Katie Allen, Angie Bell, Fiona Martin and Dave Sharma to urge them to support amendments to the Religious Discrimination Bill as well as the Sex Discrimination Act to protect the rights of children.
The letter explains how the Citipointe Christian College situation has demonstrated risks to the rights of children under the Religious Discrimination Bill.
Because the Bill allows religious schools to discriminate against existing students on the basis of religious belief, it will provide an alternative avenue for them to discriminate against children, including LGBT students, ‘under the guise of religious views.’
Even if the Sex Discrimination Act is amended, children may be no better off as a result.
The case also highlights the risks to the rights of children more broadly. All children and young people should be free to question, explore and develop their own conscience, faith and beliefs while they are students, without the fear of punishment for doing so.
This must include respecting the rights of children and young people to adopt a faith, no faith, or individual tenets of faith, that may be contrary to their school’s.
This is not just an essential safeguard for LGBT students, but supports the religious freedom of all children and young people.