No school will be allowed to exclude students based on their sexuality under changes to laws the Morrison government plans to bring in.
A review of religious freedoms included a recommendation to allow religious schools to discriminate against students on the basis of their sexuality. But the government is rejecting that, and it is strengthening discrimination laws to remove any opportunity for schools to discriminate.
“Our government does not support expulsion of students from religious non-state schools on the basis of their sexuality,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
“I also know that this view is widely shared by religious schools and communities across the country.”
The coalition government is working on amendments it plans to make law within the next two weeks.
“I will be taking action to ensure amendments are introduced as soon as practicable to make it clear that no student of a non-state school should be expelled on the basis of their sexuality,” Mr Morrison said.
The issue arose in a controversial review into religious freedoms, led by former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock, that called for stronger rights for schools to reject gay staff and students.
Protection of religious beliefs already exists in almost every state and territory jurisdiction, except NSW and South Australia.
Mr Morrison hit out at "misreporting" of the Ruddock review, which he said actually proposed restricting the rights of schools to expel students based on religious doctrine.
"I will be writing to the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to invite him to work with the government on a bipartisan basis to provide certainty in this area," Mr Morrison said.