Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018

YACSA strongly believes that any school, educational facility, organisation and business, regardless of the religious tenets they follow, is obliged to abide by international human rights instruments, Australian anti-discrimination laws and industrial laws. Government must also recognise Australia’s human rights obligations when drafting or amending legislation that might unfairly discriminate against an already vulnerable group.

There can be contention when human rights intersect and compete, but Australia has international obligations to ensure that all citizens are equal before the law and free from discrimination, and this must be the paramount consideration when developing legislation and social policy. Strong laws that recognise the human rights of all citizens are needed to demonstrate Australia’s compliance with human rights instruments and the recognition that all citizens are equal before the law. While we strongly support protections for LGBTIQ students, we don’t believe the Amendment Bill goes far enough to protect all LGBTIQ students, teachers and other educational staff from discrimination.

YACSA calls on the government and the opposition to champion equality and the freedom from discrimination by removing all the regressive, discriminatory and damaging religious exemptions in the SDA.