Today, the Morrison Government and the Centre Alliance voted to stop the Senate dealing with a private member's bill to remove discrimination against LGBTQ students in school. Last week, the Senate agreed to vote on the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018 this year, but the Government used procedural parliamentary rules to stall the vote.
Anna Brown, Co-Chair of the Equality Campaign and Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the delay by the Australian Parliament is a blow to students and their parents seeking certainty ahead of the new year.
“It’s outrageous that our Government is stalling on this important vote. Parents and children deserve certainty for the new year. No kid should be feeling scared to walk through the school gates just because of who they are. Today's delay is a slap in the face to LGBTQ kids and their families," said Ms Brown.
"Today, the Australian Parliament had the opportunity to do the right thing. Instead they chose not to protect Australian kids. By voting to block the bill, they have voted to continue discrimination against LGBTQ students."
Ms Brown said that the parliament ignored a clear pathway to allow schools to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination.
"The Prime Minister made a clear promise in October, before the Wentworth election, to remove these outdated and discriminatory laws which allow schools to discriminate against students. There is a bipartisan commitment to protect students from being expelled because of who they are. Yet this important change is being put off for months," said Ms Brown.
The bill was due to be voted on one year after the Australian Parliament passed marriage equality.
"It has been less than a year since the Australian Parliament voted for marriage equality. Australians are entitled to ask whether the Government has learned from the lessons of the postal survey, by causing further delays for equality for LGBTQ students in schools," said Ms Brown.
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications: 0419 100 519