Key supporters of religious discrimination laws before the Australian Parliament have been left in the dark as their letters to Attorney-General Michaelia Cash go unanswered. Source: News.com.au.
Under questioning at a parliamentary hearing on Thursday, the Australian Christian Lobby confirmed it had no idea about a deal to protect gay students from discrimination in religious schools.
ACL deputy director Dan Flynn said he had not been advised by the Prime Minister's Office or by the Attorney-General’s office as to the status of any such deal but he had written to the Attorney-General and asked for clarification.
Mr Flynn said he had not received a reply. He said if a deal were to go ahead, the ACL would withdraw its support for the legislation.
Greens senator Janet Rice argued the ACL was angling for Christian schools to continue to discriminate.
In December, it was reported Liberal moderates had struck a deal with Ms Cash for amendments to be made to the Sex Discrimination Act to protect LGBT students, in exchange for their support for the bill.
But just days later, the Attorney-General said such reforms could face a year-long wait.
Christian Schools Australia and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney said they were first made aware of the proposal through the media.
The religious discrimination legislation was a key election promise from Scott Morrison ahead of the 2019 election.
The Senate committee is one of two parliamentary inquiries into the legislation. Both committees are due to report back to parliament on February 4.