TV personality Sonia Kruger has questioned the Australian Business and Community Network Scholarship Foundation’s scholarships for LGBTI high school students.
The ABCN is offering a $7000 grant to a year 10 student who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex “to spend on study resources and help alleviate financial hardship in their homes.”
It’s the first time the ABCN has offered a scholarship that specifically targets LGBTI students. Previously, applicants were asked only whether they were male or female.
Kruger told the Today show she said she found it “odd” to ask Year 10 students about their sexual preferences, labelling it “reverse discrimination”.
“I don’t think it should have anything to do with the awarding of a scholarship. I think scholarships should be given on merit,” Kruger said.
But co-host David Campbell said it was “hardly a big deal” and those who criticised the ABCN’s choice of questions “were living in the dark ages”.
“Kids’ sexuality nowadays is different now to even when we were in high school,” he said.
However, national policy officer for Family Voice Australia Damian Wyld sided with Kruger, telling The Australian that the educational scholarship was an example of ideological activism.
“Why should children, especially in a school setting, be asked to declare their sexuality or gender identity?” Mr Wyld said.
“Many 15-year-olds are still working through issues around sexuality. Offering a financial incentive to identify as ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex’ is completely inappropriate.”
Kruger recently caused major controversy on the Today Show by saying that Australia should close its borders to all Muslim migrants.