The marriage debate is about nothing more or less than whether fellow human beings can be allowed equality.
The marriage debate is about nothing more or less than whether fellow human beings can be allowed equality. JOEL CARRETT

GEN Z: Religious Freedom review is backwards

THE Religious Freedom review which calls for the federal Sex Discrimination Act to be amended is a big step backwards for society.

The review amendment recommends the power for religious schools to discriminate against students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.

If these recommendations are legislated religious schools would be guaranteed the right to turn away gay students and teachers under changes to federal anti-discrimination laws.

When I first heard about this on the radio, I was dumbfounded. I thought surely this isn't real. The report states any further amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act should only apply to new enrolments, it's shocking.

The review was commissioned in the wake of last year's same-sex marriage victory, because apparently marrying someone you love would restrict people's ability to practise their religion freely.

Chairman of the review Former Liberal minister Phillip Ruddock said the right of religious schools to turn away "gay” students and teachers should be enshrined in the Sex Discrimination Act.

We were always taught love thy neighbour, but apparently not if they don't fit into the "normal” societal mould.

What hurts the most about the recommendations is the segregation this causes. We just want to be accepted.

The latest data from the 2016 census Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 30.1 per cent of Australians identified as having no religion.

Thirty-nine per cent of young adults aged 18-34 reported to not having a religion.

By this so-called "religious freedom” you are hurting young people, who need the support the most.

In the prevalence of high rates of suicide among LGBTIQ+ young people, you would think the Coalition would want to tackle this issue, instead of adding fuel to the fire.

Research into the LGBTIQ+ community has demonstrated a disproportionate number experience poorer mental health outcomes and have a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their peers.

These outcomes are directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination and abuse on the basis of their sexuality.

Compared to the general population, LGBTI+ people are more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime with LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 being five times more likely.

A whopping 41.1 per cent of homosexual/bisexual people aged 16 and over met the criteria for a mental disorder and had symptoms in the past 12 months.

Shame on anyone who is in support of this recommendation. How can you be so ignorant to deny a young person to attend a school because of their sexual orientation?



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