Aus­tralia aims to ban schools from ex­pelling gay stu­dents

The Sunday Telegraph - - World news - By Our For­eign Staff

AUS­TRALIA aims to ban pri­vate or re­li­gious schools from ex­pelling stu­dents on the ba­sis of their sex­u­al­ity, Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said yes­ter­day.

De­bate over per­sonal rights is grow­ing ahead of a cru­cial by-election for Mr Mor­ri­son’s rul­ing Lib­eral-Na­tional coali­tion in Sydney on Oct 20.

“I will be tak­ing ac­tion to en­sure amend­ments are in­tro­duced as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble to make it clear that no stu­dent of a non-state school should be ex­pelled on the ba­sis of their sex­u­al­ity,” Mr Mor­ri­son said.

The state­ment, which urged par­lia-

‘Peo­ple within a Catholic school com­mu­nity are ex­pected to ad­here to the school’s mis­sion and val­ues’

ment to tackle the is­sue over the next two weeks, fol­lows an of­fer of sup­port by the largest op­po­si­tion party, Labour, to re­peal le­gal ex­emp­tions that al­low re­li­gious schools to dis­crim­i­nate.

Arch­bishop Mark Co­leridge, the pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralian Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence, called this week for equal­ity in school em­ploy­ment and en­rol­ment.

“Once em­ployed or en­rolled, peo­ple within a Catholic school com­mu­nity are ex­pected to ad­here to the school’s mis­sion and val­ues,” he said.

Aus­tralia’s par­lia­ment voted to le­galise same-sex mar­riage last De­cem­ber af­ter a na­tion­wide postal sur­vey re­turned an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity in favour of the unions.

Mr Mor­ri­son said the govern­ment was work­ing through its re­sponses to the rec­om­men­da­tions of a re­view panel to ex­am­ine if the change to the law had re­stricted re­li­gious free­dom.

“Our govern­ment does not sup­port ex­pul­sion of stu­dents from re­li­gious non-state schools on the ba­sis of their sex­u­al­ity,” he added.

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