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Sonia Kruger objects to scholarships for gay, lesbian and transgender students as 'reverse discrimination'

9The FIX logo 9The FIX 1/08/2016

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Sonia Kruger has been quite opinionated lately, and she isn't about to let the threat of backlash hold her back.

The 50-year-old Today Extra co-host got fired up again today, this time talking about scholarships for gay, lesbian and transgender students on Today's "The Mixed Grill" panel.

At issue was the the Australian Business and Community Network Scholarship Foundation's new practice of pursuing high-school students who identify as gay, lesbian and transgender for financial and mentoring scholarships valued at $7,000 over three years.

"It sort of feels like reverse discrimination to me, in a way," Sonia said. "To ask a student if they identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, you're asking somebody about their sexual preferences, and I find that that's a really odd thing to do in any capacity, whether it's a job or...

"I don't think it should have anything to do with the awarding of a scholarship," she added. "I thinks scholarships should be given on merit."

Sonia's main point of contention appeared to be the expectation that high-school students should identify as one thing or the other at such a young age.

Sonia Kruger on 'Today'. © Nine News Sonia Kruger on 'Today'. Her Today Extra co-host David Campbell respectfully disagreed with Sonia's stance, pointing out that young people today are more sophisticated and aware of their sexuality than ever before.

"Kids' sexuality nowadays is different to even when we were in high school," he said. "I was dying for sexuality and all I had was acne."

Sonia drew criticism last month after expressing her views on Muslim immigration during a panel discussion on Today.

"Personally, I would like to see it stop now for Australia because I want to feel safe as all of our citizens do when we go out to celebrate Australia Day," she said, inciting a swift backlash.

She backtracked slightly on Today Extra the following day, explaining that she was reacting to the recent mass murder in Nice, France, where an ISIS "soldier" killed 84 people after driving a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day.

"I saw the image of a baby covered in a plastic sheet with a doll lying beside her and it rocked me to the very core," Sonia said.

"I imagine what that must have been like for the people of Nice, for the friends of and families of the lost, and the thought that it could happen here terrifies me.

"This type of attack affects people from all walks of life, and I want to make it very clear that I have complete respect for people of all races and religions.

"I acknowledge my views yesterday may have been extreme." 

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