Australia’s Grand Mufti has weighed in on the debate around whether religious schools should be allowed to reject gay teachers from their schools.
The debate around religious freedom has heated up in Australia after the recommendations into a Religious Freedom Enquiry were leaked last week.
The recommendations included allowing religious schools to prevent LGBTI students and teachers from enrolling or working at their schools.
Australia’s government eventually vowed to protect LGBTI students, but many have said that teachers must also be protected from discrimination.
But Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilaly has some other ideas. The most senior Muslim figure in Australia said schools should ‘not be a club for those seeking to satisfy their desires’.
Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilaly supported the review’s recommendations.
He told The Australian newspaper that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to ‘impose their lifestyle on the rest of society’.
‘We are a free democratic society that believes in diversity and human rights and we reject constrictions on the rights of others even if they are afflicted with abnormal practices that contradict nature,’ he said.
‘In such cases, we must respect their humanity and deal with the issue as a mental illness that requires care and treatment.’
Act now to end discrimination
The Australia Greens introduced a bill to end exemptions to anti-discrimination laws that allow religious schools to expel LGBT+.
They introduced the Bill into the Senate on Tuesday afternoon with Greens Senator Janet Rice saying it was Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s chance to ‘act right now’ and deal with this issue ‘once and for all’.
‘Under intense community pressure, both the Labor and Liberal parties have changed their position and are now talking big about removing discrimination against LGBT+ students and teachers from our laws,’ Rice said.
‘It’s time they turn their words into action and vote for the Greens’ bill to protect students, teachers and staff members from being expelled or fired by religious schools because of who they are.’