Schools 'could turn away gay kids, teachers'

Row over Australia plan to let faith schools reject gay students

Hinch: Strip funding from private schools that exclude gay teachers, students

"We shouldn't even be having this debate", Shorten told reporters in Melbourne, demanding the government release the report.

Students at religious schools (not pictured) could be turned away depending on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"It's hard to comment without seeing the report, but our general proposition is Labour doesn't expand discrimination opportunities", Ms Plibersek said.

There was also a suggestion that religious-based schools should have discretion to discriminate in the hiring of teachers on the basis of religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.

Morrison was commenting on the contents of a leaked report on religious freedoms, reigniting debate about what constitutes unlawful discrimination against gay people just months after Australia's Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

Protection of religious beliefs already exists in nearly every state and territory jurisdiction, except NSW and South Australia.

"To some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance", the review says, according to Fairfax Media.

Hawke says people of faith in Australia are under attack.




Mr Sharma, who is contesting the critical byelection in Malcolm Turnbull's former seat, distanced himself from recommendations in the government's long-awaited review into religious freedom.

"We remain deeply concerned that under a Morrison government this bill will be drafted without regard to the interests of LGBTIQ people and other minorities who now bear the brunt of religious discrimination", she said.

Critics, including civil liberty groups, members of the opposition Labor Party and gay rights advocates, said the government should not be proposing avenues for discrimination.

Gay rights activists have slammed the proposal as a shameful assault on equality.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, said Catholic schools welcomed staff and students from all backgrounds.

The panel's recommendation does not go so far as to allow schools to discriminate on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status, and called on any state legislation allowing that to be repealed.

"If you want the privilege of educating the next generation of young Australians, you don't have the right to discriminate", Di Natale said, warning that religion is "not a get out of jail free card".

However, the review appeared to have stop short of allowing businesses to opt out of serving LGBTI people on religious grounds, as this would "unnecessarily encroach on other human rights" and "may cause significant harm to vulnerable groups" reported Fairfax.

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