Australia to ban religious schools' gay expulsions
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday said that religious schools will be prevented from expelling students on the basis of their sexuality under new laws to be introduced by his government.
His comments came after days of controversy over the leaked recommendations of a review into religious freedoms.
The report, commissioned after same-sex marriage was made legal in 2017, suggested earlier that procedures for non-state schools to reject gay students should be made consistent nationwide, raising the possibility of allowing such rejections across Australia.
Some Australian states allow such schools to turn away gay students.
Morrison on Wednesday said the proposals, which included some safeguards for gay students, would be considered "carefully and respectfully".
But on Saturday he said that religious schools would not be allowed to discriminate under new legislation, ABC News reported.
"Our government does not support expulsion of students from religious non-state schools on the basis of their sexuality," Morrison, who leads the centre-right Liberal-National coalition, said in a statement.
"I also know that this view is widely shared by religious schools and communities across the country."
The Prime Minister said that to address "anxiety" and "confusion", he will take action to ensure amendments were introduced as soon as possible to make it clear that no student of a non-state school should be expelled on the basis of their sexuality.
Morrison's announcement came a week before a by-election for a seat in the Sydney area previously held by his predecessor and fellow Liberal, Malcolm Turnbull.-IANS