Monday, 1 August 2016
Scholarships For LGBT+ Students Branded 'Reverse Discrimination'
Following the introduction of a new programme in Australia that would award educational scholarships to LGBT+ students television personality Sonia Kruger has lashed out, calling the scholarship 'reverse discrimination' for straight students.
The new scholarships are worth $7,000 over a three year period will be awarded to high potential students facing significant economic, family or social challenges. The scholarship application form asks candidates to identify their gender as male, female, transgender or prefer not to say, as well as asking if they identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or prefer not to say.
Kruger appeared on the Australian Chanel Nine's 'Today' program this morning and spoke out on the issue, saying that she believed the new programme to be a form of reverse discrimination against straight people that unfairly favoured members of the LGBT+ community.
'It sort of feels like reverse discrimination to me, in a way. To ask a student if they identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, you're asking someone their sexual preferences and I find that a really odd thing to do, in any kind of capacity, whether it's a job or a scholarship. I think a scholarship should be given on merit.'
To be fair to Kruger, asking someone's sexual preference is something that shouldn't really play much part when it comes to things such as job applications, in the same way that job applications shouldn't ask people their race, ethnicity, marital status or religious beliefs, yet they do. As a straight cis white christian woman though she somehow doesn't feel the need to challenge these, simply the one that would allow LGBT+ students from less advantaged backgrounds better chances at a higher education.
This kind of reaction from Kruger shouldn't be too much of a surprise, however, as just a few weeks ago she called for the Australian government to ban people of Muslim faith from entering the country as she appeared to accuse all Muslim people of being terrorists in a racist rant.
Thankfully, 'Today' had an opposing voice on the panel with Kruger, who spoke out in support of the new scholarships. David Campbell, well known for his pro-marriage equality beliefs, said that there are many scholarships not given out to LGBT+ students, and that anyone who questioned the new programme was 'living in the Dark Ages'.