needs to talk about whether religious schools should be able to exclude LGBT teachers, deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek says.
Her comments come as the Greens are pushing for an amendment to a law proposed by the coalition that would stop faith-based schools excluding LGBT students, saying it should protect teachers too.
Ms Plibserk says the issue of teacher exemptions is raised with Labor “all the time”.
Schools don’t actually use the tool but the question of whether they should have the choice to do so should be discussed, she said.
“It’s absolutely something that we need to talk with schools about,” she told Sky News on Sunday.
The issue arose in a controversial review into religious freedoms, led by former Liberal minister Philip Ruddock, that called for stronger rights for schools to reject LGBT staff and students.
All of the report’s recommendations were leaked this week, after it had first been handed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in May.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Saturday the coalition would change the law so no student could be excluded based on their sexuality.
But Ms Plibserk said Labor wants to see the submissions made to the review, to understand why some schools want discrimination against LGBT teachers to continue.
“We need to have a sensible conversation that reflects what is actually happening in our community at the moment,” she said.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the coalition’s proposed changes are about “fixing a problem that Labor left behind”, as the party established the current exclusion arrangements in 2013.
The government will carefully consider the remainder of the review, the senator said.
“In due course, we’ll make judgments that are appropriately balanced and appropriately calibrated,” he told ABC TV on Sunday.