Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984

A senate report on the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 was released in December and has several areas of concern for the ACL by failing to close a loophole in the Act which has paved the way for single women and lesbians to receive IVF. The report recommends removing exemptions which allow religious bodies and religious schools to recruit staff who share the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the religious organisation, which includes the ordination of ministers, and the appointment of teachers.

Christian Schools Australia, the peak body for Christian Schools, said in a statement that it would continue to campaign to maintain the status quo. For their report visit: http://www.csa.edu.au/briefing_item.php?newsid=669

Another recommendation reflects the ALP’s commitment to removing discrimination against same-sex couples, proposing “marital status’ to be replaced with ‘marital or relationship status’ throughout the Act. This opens the possibility of people challenging restrictions on IVF, adoption and surrogacy on the basis or sex or (marital) relationship status.

These recommendations will now be subject to a 12 month consultation process, to be overseen by the Attorney-General’s Department. For the report visit: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/legcon_ctte/sex_discrim/report/index.htm

See www.acl.org.au or www.saltshakers.org.au on ways to get involved in the consultation process.

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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