Home' LOTL : Aug 13 Contents State MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich
has been making headlines with a
proposed bill that will remove the
right for religious schools to expel gay
The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act
currently states that it is a crime to expel,
refuse admission to, or limit ser vices to a
student because they are gay or lesbian.
However, the section includes a damning
loophole that exempts private schools
from this law, meaning they retain the
right to discriminate.
Greenwich finds this loophole
“Currently in NSW
students can cruelly be expelled for being
gay. This is wrong and my bill will end
this,” he said.
Although Greenwich acknowledges
that actual use of the exemption is a rarity,
he believes it is necessary that it is written
out of the law altogether. “ The threat of
expulsion for being who you are has a
hugely negative impact on vulnerable
LGBTI high school students,” he said.
Greenwich’s progressive electorate is
home to a strong LGBTI community and
a large number of same-sex couples, but
contains no public high school. He says
that anti-discrimination exemptions are
a major issue for the inner city.
school spots are already extremely limited
and the growing numbers of LGBTI
families in Sydney don’t need further
restrictions placed on their schooling
However, a number of religious
schools have argued that removing the
exemptions would infringe on their
freedom of religion.
According to Greenwich, the growing
public sentiment in favour of marriage
equality is an obvious manifestation
of a shift in attitudes towards LGBTI
“Even the current NSW Attorney-
General has acknowledged that times
have changed and I am hopeful that the
NSW Anti-Discrimination Act will be
amended to reflect this,” he said.
The bill will be introduced to the NSW
parliament in August.
6 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
News | Local/Global
MP ProPoses bill to reMove
right to discriMinate
The federal government will put $3.3 million
towards the provision of a mental health
telephone counselling service aimed at LGBTI
people across Australia.
Senator Jacinta Collins, the Minister for
Mental Health and Ageing, announced that the
service will be delivered by the LGBTI Health
Alliance in partnership with existing mental
health support providers in WA, Queesland, SA,
Victoria and NSW.
“These services can go a long way to helping
people overcome the negative mental health
impacts of discrimination, stigma and social
isolation because of their sexual orientation,
sex or gender,” she said.
Senator Collins also explained that the
telephone counselling service and website will
be complemented by further services in the
“They will be followed later this year by other
QLife services such as online real-time chat
support, online forums and an email response
service as well as online multi-media mental
health information and resources, which will
include video and audio formats.”
Want to call QLife? Ring 1800 184 527
between 5:30pm and 10:30pm, seven days
a week. You can also access the web-based
support program at www.qlife.org.au.
MeNTAL HeALTH HeLp ON
THe WAY fOR LGBTI AuSSIeS
Gay couples will soon be able
to officially tie the knot in
England and Wales after a bill
allowing same-sex marriages was voted
into British law in mid-July. The bill
paves the way for same-sex couples to
get married in both civil and religious
Prime Minister David Cameron
pushed through the marriage reforms
despite much opposition from within
his Conser vative Party. After passing
through both houses of British
parliament, the bill required the royal
seal of approval from Queen Elizabeth,
which she granted on July 17.
The change to British law has put
even more pressure on Australian MPs
to listen to public sentiment on the
issue, with a majority of Australians in
favour of marriage equality.
The first same-sex marriages in
England and Wales are expected
to occur in summer 2014. In the
meantime, openly gay Opposition
Labour Party MP Chris Bryant
tweeted some advice for LGBTI
Britons: “Go forth and propose”.
MARRIAGe eQuALITY fOR eNGLANd ANd WALeS
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