FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: STATEMENT BY RAINBOW TERRITORY
10 October 2018
Rainbow Territory calls on Chief Minister Michael Gunner and NT Federal representatives to speak out strongly against possible increases in discrimination under the law against Territorians who are LGBTQI, or sexuality and gender questioning children and young people.
Rainbow Territory is deeply disturbed that a panel sanctioned by the federal government could recommend discriminating against children based on their sexuality or gender identity.
All schools in the NT must be places for children to learn in a safe environment, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, or faith. This recommendation is totally out of touch with NT values.
Rainbow Territory strongly opposes the implementation of this recommendation:
any discrimination within any school based on a child’s sexuality or gender identity is a form of segregation under the guise of religious freedoms
there will be damage to the wellbeing and mental health of young people who attend religious educational institutions and who would be impacted by this recommendation
we are concerned that a law of this type could be extended, through federal legislation, to other groups that do not align to religious beliefs, such as children from unmarried, divorced, or single parent households
all of the religious educational institutions in the NT receive Federal and Territory government funding to operate (56% to 98% of their annual funding)
some young people in remote NT communities do not have another education option other than a religious educational institution. This will exclude young people who should be in school from gaining an education
the lack of support for young people in schools who are questioning their sexuality or gender identity will only be amplified if this recommendation becomes law
we already see discrimination in the NT for staff who work in religious institutions who can be hired or fired based on their sexuality whether they are a cleaner, gardener, science teacher or principal. We want to see this removed from the laws of the NT, not enshrined by federal law.
Rainbow Territory calls on Chief Minister Michael Gunner and NT Federal representatives to speak out strongly against possible increases in discrimination under the law against Territorians who are LGBTQI and sexuality and gender questioning children and young people.
Formed in September 2014, Rainbow Territory is an unfunded Northern Territory community group that advocate for the human rights of Northern Territorians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (‘LGBTQI’). Rainbow Territory aims to develop a safer, fairer and a more inclusive Northern Territory.