No School Should Discriminate Against Gay Kids: PM
The Prime Minister has come out in support for gay kids attending religious schools, ending his near-silence on the debate which has been raging since Wednesday.
"I don't think someone at a school should be kicked out because they have a different sexuality to what might be believed to be an appropriate thing by a particular religious group," he told Andrew Bolt on Thursday night.
"We do not think children should be discriminated against."
It comes two days after Fairfax published a report on a leaked portion of the Philip Ruddock review, commissioned by then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the same-sex marriage result.
The report suggested that state-based laws, which see religious schools in some states allowed to refuse enrollment to LGBTI students, could be standardised across the country.
Morrison claimed that Fairfax deliberately misrepresented that report, but copped to criticism that he should have clarified the recommendations sooner.
"I'll happily take the criticism," he said. "But what I was annoyed about was the deliberate misrepresentation. The law that currently exists, that allows that to take place was introduced by the Labor party. They failed to ensure that in those cases, the primary interests of the child should be what is foremost in the minds of those making decisions under the law."
The report, which has not yet been released, included the stipulation that should a religious school discriminate against a student based on sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status, then is must do so in "regard to the best interests of the child."
It is unclear what the government plans to do with the recommendations made by the review, which it was given in May.
However, political parties from all sides are moving into action. Independent Derryn Hinch announced he was move a notice of motion to strip any private school that discriminates against LGBTI students or teachers of funding, while the Greens are introducing a bill to overturn state-based laws that allow for the discrimination in the first place.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has not gone quite so far, but did say on Thursday that he didn't want to make this issue a "political football".
"Frankly, I am shocked that the current Prime Minister hasn't ruled out right now already extending new laws allowing the discrimination against children who are gay," he told media on Thursday.
"Why are we having a debate which says that the human dignity of children could be further subject to exemptions against discrimination?"
Contact the author: email@example.com
Lead photo: Sky News