Fear-mongering from the Australian Christian Lobby on a program that aims to make schools more inclusive for young LGBTI people must stop, the Australian Greens say.
"The idea that simply by talking about differences in sexuality and gender identity, you're going to ‘recruit' young people is completely ridiculous. Supporting young people in speaking openly about these issues encourages tolerance and creates more happy and safe school environments," Greens sexuality spokesperson, Senator Robert Simms said.
"The Safe Schools Coalition is undertaking very important work in preventing bullying in our schools which not only creates a safe and supportive environment but also results in students performing better academically. It's time for the ACL to stop legitimising the bullying and exclusion of LGBTI young people and abandon their crusade against the safe schools coalition."
"High school is such a critical time in everyone's lives, let alone the lives of young trans, intersex and gender diverse people," Greens gender identity and intersex issues spokesperson Senator Janet Rice said.
"When these young people are supported at school, they experience less transphobia and better health and wellbeing.
"A third of trans young people have attempted suicide as a result of transphobia. Any reduction of the work of the Safe Schools Coalition because of lobbying against it could have tragic consequences.
"We commend the Safe Schools Coalition and all schools that have implemented this vital program for their commitment to ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people and their families."
Robert Simms; Amy Moran 0417 173 508
Janet Rice; Sam Drummond 0400 352 935