Australia’s Citipointe Christian College withdraws contract that could exclude gay and transgender students after backlash


Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane had given parents a deadline to sign the document which compared homosexuality to bestiality, incest and pedophilia.

The contract also stated that the college would only enroll a student “on the basis of the sex that corresponds to their biological sex” and suggested that students could be expelled because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or activity. sexual.

On Thursday, the school‘s principal, Pastor Brian Mulheran, said in a press release that the college had withdrawn the enrollment contract and that families would no longer be asked to accept the document for their child to attend the school.

“We deeply regret that some students feel they would be discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity, and I apologize to them and their families on behalf of the College,” said Mulheran.

“As previously stated, the College does not and will not discriminate against any student on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity. It is central to our faith that being gay or transgender in no way diminishes the humanity or dignity of any student. ‘a person in the sight of God.’

The college is one of the largest independent schools in Queensland, teaching around 1,700 children from primary to secondary, according to its website.

The original contract drew widespread criticism, and a petition demanding its termination garnered more than 150,000 signatures.

The team campaigning against the contract said they were “pleased to receive the good news” and that “this is the first step in ensuring that our schools remain a safe space for all LGBTQI+ students”.

However, petition creator Bethany Lau said the school’s actions “point to a much larger problem.”

“While many may celebrate today, the reality is that Citipointe has made it clear that although it is no longer written in the contract, their view on the matter remains fundamentally the same,” Lau said in a statement. .

“Many students across the country will be afraid to return to school on Monday. This contract has traumatized students, parents and the community, and we recognize that there is a lot of work to be done to support these people.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday he disagrees with school contracts that discriminate against students.

“I don’t support that. My children go to a Christian school in Sydney and I wouldn’t want my school to do that either,” he told Brisbane radio station B105.

Morrison said the government would amend proposed religious discrimination legislation to protect LGBTQ children from expulsion or discrimination by schools because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“The bill that we are going to push through parliament will have an amendment that will address this to ensure that children are not discriminated against on this basis,” Morrison said.

Morrison gave no details on what the amendment would look like.

The Religious Discrimination Bill, which is still pending in Parliament, plans to protect citizens against discrimination based on religious belief or activity, just as current laws prohibit discrimination based on race. , gender, disability and age.

However, the bill has faced widespread opposition, with critics fearing it would allow religious bodies, including schools and charities, to discriminate if it is in line with their core beliefs. .


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