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State schools better for minority students, says Michael Kirby

State schools better for minority students, says Michael Kirby

Gay Australian former high court judge Michael Kirby said that secular public schools are better for gay pupils and other minorities that private or religious schools.

Kirby, who describes himself as a Protestant Anglican Christian, said the idea of a secular education is ‘very important’ during a talk at Canberra’s National Press Club on Friday, Fairfax Media reports.

‘If you live in a school which has a belief and an instruction that you have a tendency to evil, that is going to percolate down – it is going to be part of the reality,’ said Kirby.

The legal academic, who retired from the high court in 2009, was wholly educated in state schools before studying at the University of Sydney. In 1983 he became the youngest person to be appointed to the federal judiciary.

‘I was never conscious of discrimination in my public schools,’ Kirby said at Canberra Press Club and cited research that showed there was less bullying of minority students in Queensland public schools than private and religious schools.

Kirby is a vocal proponent of LGBT rights and marriage equality.