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Greens call for fix to discrimination law gap

Media Release
Penny Wright 14 Jun 2013

Blanket exemptions from Labor's sex discrimination laws will leave many vulnerable, says Australian spokesperson on Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

Senators from Labor and Liberal parties today refused sign on Senator Wright's recommended changes to the laws, which retain exemptions for religious organisation.

"These exemptions mean a health or homelessness service could refuse to help a transgender person, while a religious school could turn away children because their parents are gay.

"The Australian Greens say any organisation receiving public funding to provide a public service must comply with widely-held community standards and anti-discrimination principles.

"This bill is a very important step for Australia, but the failure to remove these exemptions from discrimination law will leave many unprotected.

"Religious organisations and schools should not be treated differently to other entities; they should be held accountable. Equality is a core principle that underpins Australia's modern democracy and this should be protected under law.

"The Australian Greens are the only party standing up for the rights of all people to be protected from discrimination in their daily lives.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee today handed down their report into the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013.

Senator Wright's additional comments and recommended amendments around religious exemptions can be found here.

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