The Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) opposes discrimination based on a person’s sexuality.
The IEUA believes that current exemptions should be removed and that practices in faith-based schools, and indeed in any endeavour conducted for the public by faith-based organisations, should reflect community standards and expectations.
The IEUA does not accept that the faith-based school communities in Australia are so fragile that they require exemptions from discrimination laws.
The IEUA notes that several jurisdictions do not have these exemptions, for either staff or students, and in these States, faith-based schools have flourished and enrolments continue to grow.
Not having the right to discriminate has not undermined the capacity of faith-based schools to operate.
The IEUA believes that:
- all staff and students in schools deserve safe workplaces/learning environments;
- staff in schools should not be discriminated against on the basis of their personal lives.
The IEUA believes that faith-based schools have the capacity and resilience to continue to operate in the absence of discrimination exemptions and that Australia’s current community standards would judge that discrimination on the basis of sexuality is unsustainable.
Additionally, the IEUA notes that the current New South Wales’s Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 contains exemptions for ‘private educational institutions’, not just faith-based schools. This provision needs immediate change.
15 October 2018