Church may fight discrimination laws

The Catholic Church has signalled a possible legal challenge to Queensland's new anti-discrimination laws giving legal rights to de facto and gay couples.

The Queensland opposition has called for the new laws to be rewritten after concerns were raised by churches.

The laws mirror those in other states.

Under the laws, if a school wants to discriminate against a potential employee who is in a de facto relationship, the school must take the case to the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.

Currently, non-government schools have a blanket exemption from anti-discrimination laws, allowing them to vet employees according to religious teachings and sack them if they breach such teachings.

Brisbane's Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby has signalled possible court action against the laws, telling The Courier-Mail the church viewed homosexual couples as "morally evil".

Opposition leader Mike Horan said the government's amendments were an attack on religious freedom and should be redrafted.

"It takes away freedom of choice of parents who pay fees and make a conscious decision to send their children to a particular school based on their values and religious teachings," Mr Horan said.

"This is about the state dictating to religious and independent schools."

Premier Peter Beattie said the government was consulting with religious groups and wanted to avoid any legal action.

But Mr Beattie said de facto relationships were commonplace in society and the amendments would stand.

"As a government we have to respect what the community standards are," Mr Beattie said.

The Liberal Party has also backed the new laws, saying they meet the expectations of modern society.