Equality Australia welcomes PM’s stance on protections for LGBTIQ+ staff and students

March 26, 2024 - Equality Australia has welcomed reports that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is open to working with the Greens to secure support for reforms that will protect LGBTQ+ students and staff in religious schools.

“We welcome this broader approach to ensure these vital protections pass through the parliament,” said Equality Australia Legal Director Ghassan Kassisieh. 

“Legal protections for students and teachers are too important to play politics with and we would urge all parliamentarians to engage with the government in good faith, and for the government to stay true to its election promise.” 

Equality Australia on Monday released a report that found LGBTQ+ discrimination is endemic in religious schools and organisations around Australia. The report also found Australia is out of step with international law and practice. 

“These schools rely on millions of dollars of public funding and yet they are legally allowed to fire a gay teacher or deny them a promotion while students can be expelled, told they are going to hell or held back from leadership roles,” said Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown. 

“Australians believe in fairness and equality and that we should all have an equal right to be free from discrimination. 

“The prime minister has signalled his willingness to work across the chamber and we are calling on all parliamentarians to act now to ensure our laws reflect modern community expectations."

One in three students and almost two in five staff are enrolled or employed in private schools, most of which are religiously affiliated. 

Media contacts: 

Tara Ravens 0408 898 154, tara.ravens@equalityaustralia.org.au, Emily Mulligan, 0411 207 633 emily.mulligan@equalityaustralia.org.au