The shadow assistant minister for equality, Louise Pratt, told the Senate that an innate attribute should not be a ground for discrimination but also recognised the rights of parents to “have children educated in accordance with their religious convictions”.
Teachers who behave “totally within the ethos” of a school who “just happen” to be LGBT, unmarried, or pregnant outside marriage should not be discriminated against, she said.
Pratt said there might be “a great deal of conduct [schools] cannot and should not tolerate”, such as teachers engaging in overt conversations about sexual matters or a Scientologist trying to “recruit students at a Catholic school”.
“For some schools, promoting something like marriage equality within the school community might very much be outside the ethos of that particular school,” she said.
Pratt said that an LGBT teacher talking in “an ordinary sense about themselves or their family” and their “status” as an LGBT person should not be grounds for discrimination, because they should not have to hide their identity.