Citipointe Christian College’s attempt to impose a tough enrolment contract has destroyed the chance for conservative Christian schools to get the sort of religious discrimination bill they want. The contract imposed strict restrictions on LGBTIQA students.
In December, Eternity reported a significant victory for the advocates for a strong religious discrimination bill when Attorney-General Michaelia Cash pledged the government would bring on the bill and delay the removal of exemptions to the Sex Discrimination Act (SDA). This dashed the hopes of moderate members of the Liberal party who wanted to deal with removing the ability of religious bodies, schools, in particular, to discriminate against LGBTIQA persons.
Citipointe Christian College has managed to reverse that decision. Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Brisbane radio today that “the bill that we’re going to be taking through the Parliament, we will have an amendment which will deal with that to ensure that the kids cannot be discriminated against on that basis [of sexuality],” the Nine papers report.
This commenter has long held the view that the most likely threat to the religious discrimination bill would be overreach by a Christian school
Getting the religious discrimination bill passed while leaving the SDA exemptions intact (Which would then be examined by the law reform commission after a 12-month delay) has been a long term aim of the Morrison government and some strong advocates for the new bill.
This commenter has long held the view that the most likely threat to the religious discrimination bill would be overreach by a Christian school on the policy front or by an overt act of discrimination. Citipointe managed both.
The discrimination provisions of the SDA concerning schools will be stripped back, either in the new bill or by amending the SDA itself.
This adds an extra layer of complexity to getting the religious discrimination bill through parliament with the extremely limited sittings before the election. This writer recalls one strong advocate for the bill describing the opportunity to have the Morrison government pass the bill as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” Advocates for the bill may now have lost that opportunity.