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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4149 ..


teachers on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status;

(2) further notes:

(a) the significant emotional stress that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities have endured in recent years including the unnecessary marriage equality postal survey and the attacks on the Safe Schools program;

(b) that the ACT has a strong track record of advocating for and protecting the rights of LGBTIQ, and all Canberrans, to live free from discrimination; and

(c) that the ACT aspires to be the most LGBTIQ inclusive city in Australia; and

(3) calls on the Assembly to:

(a) condemn the potential for discrimination against students and staff in our education system on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics;

(b) seek immediate, formal confirmation from the Federal Government that it will reject any Religious Freedoms Review recommendation that enshrines or expands discrimination in the provision of education; and

(c) ensure ACT law protects Canberrans from discrimination in our schools.

Protecting LGBTIQ Canberrans from discrimination in our schools and right across our community is an important part of our role as representatives in this place. I am proud to be part of a Labor government that advocates for the rights of the LGBTIQ community by creating an inclusive, progressive city for all of us to call home.

In recent weeks national political headlines have been consumed with reports surrounding the federal government’s religious freedom review and its recommendations. After Australians said yes to marriage equality in November last year, a group of conservative parliamentarians and lobbyists pleaded with the then Turnbull government to review religious freedoms in Australia.

The religious freedom review was commissioned in a move by the federal coalition government to pander to conservative parliamentarians who feared marriage equality would impose restrictions on the practice of religion in Australia. We have now seen parts of the review’s report and, unsurprisingly to most, it found that no-one in Australia has had their right to practice their religion impinged or removed as a result of marriage equality. However, it is with disappointment and a level of disbelief that two key recommendations from the review were aimed at attacking LGBTIQ Australians and their families.

The recommendations I am referring to from the religious freedom review have significant potential to cause harm to students, teachers and staff in schools here in Canberra and right across Australia. Recommendation 5 of the review specifically


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