Schools 'could turn away gay kids, teachers'

A religious freedoms report apparently recommends schools to reject gay students and teachers.                    Creative Commons

The ABC has confirmed one recommendation would force religious schools that discriminate against students to be open and up-front about their rules and beliefs.

Mr Morrison said the Government is still considering its recommendations.

"I will move a notice of motion in the Senate [on] Monday calling for any private school that discriminates against a teacher or student on sexuality grounds be stripped of all government funds and charity status", Senator Hinch wrote on Twitter.

Morrison's comments appear to confirm reports the review called for changes to make it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of their religious belief or lack thereof, which LGBTI advocates including the Equality Campaign accepted in their submissions.

Wentworth has a large gay community, as well as a significant number of Jewish voters.

However, a long-awaited review of whether religious freedoms are adequately protected in Australia has recommended that exemptions for religious schools be trimmed.

Fairfax Media reported on Wednesday that it had seen contents of the report, which recommended amendments to a federal law that allows religious schools to discriminate against students "on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status".

The Greens MP Alison Xamon has introduced a bill into the Western Australian parliament to protect all teachers and students are religious based schools from being fired or expelled.

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Now in some states, like Western Australia, students and teachers can be rejected by religious based schools, while other states like Tasmania offer protections against discrimination.

The report is said to declare that there is no "imminent peril" to religious freedom in Australia.

"It's a report to government, not from government", Mr Morrison told reporters on the New South Wales central coast.

Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek said expanding discrimination was a "disturbing proposition".

"What kind of adult wants to turn away a child, wants to reject a kid because they are gay".

It would no longer be legal to discriminate based on pregnancy, and schools would be forced to publish their hiring policy.

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

Other members of the religious freedoms panel include Human Rights Commission president Rosalind Croucher, former Federal Court judge Annabelle Bennett and Australian Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer Frank Brennan.

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