Submission to Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC’s submission to the ALRC Inquiry into Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws supports the majority of the ALRC’s proposals, as they would help to achieve legal protection against discrimination for LGBTQ students and teachers while preserving the ability of religious schools to serve communities of faith.
However, PIAC also endorsed the submission of the Australian Discrimination Law Experts Group and a range of recommendations to improve the model being proposed, including:
- removing the term ‘religious ethos’ from all proposed reforms;
- rejecting proposals to exempt the curriculum from the operation of the Sex Discrimination Act;
- narrowing proposals in relation to preferencing and termination in employment to ensure they do not permit discrimination on the basis of other attributes (including sexual orientation and gender identity), are based on genuine occupational requirements of the role, and are reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances;
- expanding the category of associates who would be protected under the Sex Discrimination Act;
- calling for the extension of reforms to religious exceptions under the Sex Discrimination Act to apply beyond religious educational institutions to cover other faith-based organisations delivering services in the public sphere; and
- calling for any exceptions under a future Religious Discrimination Bill to allow discrimination against students on the basis of religious belief at the point of enrolment only.