Gay students and teachers could be rejected by religious schools under changes to anti-discrimination laws being recommended by a review into religious freedom.

Commissioned after the 2017 same-sex marriage vote, the review, chaired by former attorney-general Philip Ruddock, says the right of Australia’s religious schools to turn away gay students and teachers should be enshrined in the federal Sex Discrimination Act.

“To some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance,” Fairfax Media on Wednesday reported the review as saying.

“To the extent that this can be done in the context of appropriate safeguards for the rights and mental health of the child, the panel accepts their right to select, or preference, students who uphold the religious convictions of that school community.”


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