Brisbane's Citipointe Christian College defends demanding parents sign contract on student gender identity, homosexuality
Why is this controversial? There are plenty of other schools the sexually abnormal can go to. Let them choose a school that accepts them and leave Christians free to obey the repeated statements in the Bible about sexual deviance being an abomination to God. See Romans chapter 1. It's not as if anybody is compelled to go to that school.
And the limits the school imposes could well make it popular with many parents, Christian or not. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle many parents would want for their children.
Up until relatively recently, the American Psychological Asociation categorized homosexuallity as a mental illness -- until Leftist pressure got that expunged. The long term adverse consequences of homosexuality remain, however. There have always been homosexuals in my social circle and I have seen the sadness that eventually comes to them. Women, by contrast, have always been a source of happiness to me.
I sent my son to a Catholic school precisely because I thought he would get Christian teachings there. He did. Even under Pope Francis, church teachings on homosexuality have remained unwavering in opposition to it
Citipointe Christian College on Brisbane's southside sent families a contract last Friday and said parents must sign the contract or unenrol their child from the school.
More than 26,000 people have signed an online petition demanding the college recall the enrolment contract, with organisers arguing the school is "using their religious beliefs to openly discriminate against queer and trans students".
In an e-mail to parents on Friday, principal Pastor Brian Mulheran said the new clauses in the enrolment contract were included to "ensure that we retain our Christian ethos, which is the foundation of what has made the College what it is today".
The contract states "the college will only enrol the student on the basis of the gender that corresponds to their biological sex" to maintain consistent with the college's "Christian Ethos Requirements".
The contract goes on to state that the college "acknowledges the biological sex of a person as recognised at birth and requires practices consistent with that sex".
Another clause states the college has the right to "exclude a student from the college" should they not adhere to the "doctrinal precepts including those as to biological sex".
To keep their child enrolled at the school, parents must agree with a set of "religious beliefs" laid out in a "Declaration of Faith" attached to the contract.
Part of the declaration states that "any form of sexual immorality (including but not limited to; adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, bisexual acts, bestiality, incest, paedophilia, and pornography) is sinful and offensive to God and is destructive to human relationships and society".
'We weren't given any warning that this was happening'
A parent, who is also a teacher at Citipointe and did not want to be named, said she was "saddened that students who are struggling or going through their journey of finding out who they are were going to be encased in more vocabulary of them being 'other' and not accepted".
"As an educator whose priority it is to look after a child, and as a parent wanting to bring up a young [child] to be a functioning member of this society, I knew I was in trouble as to whether I could sign this document," she said.
She said she was "extremely angry" about the timing of the contract's release because students were starting school today. "I felt very much backed into a corner," she said.
"We, as the staff, weren't told about [the contract amendments]. I only found out about it because I was a parent."
She said she was now looking for another school for her child because she was unable to sign the amended enrolment contract.
"I am having to ask [the child] now to leave their friends through no fault of [their] own. We weren't given any warning that this was happening, and we've been told you either sign it or you have two weeks leeway to go," she said.
"I feel like my options are very, very limited."
She also said this would have a wider impact on the community at Citipointe.
"It is going to be so divisive in the school. It's going to separate people. And that's not my understanding of what the Christian faith is all about," she said.
A 2018 Citipointe alumnus Bree Leitch, who identifies as bisexual, said she was "pretty floored" when her parents received the amended contract on Friday.
She said her brother has been attending the school and he was supposed to start Year 12 today.
"I'm worried about what my brother is going to do and how he's going to get his education and graduate this year, and I'm really wanting to do something about it," Ms Leitch said.
Ms Leitch said she came to terms with her bisexuality when she was in Year 12 at Citipointe.
"I remember when I was in school, I would always think, 'If I was gay, I would never come out' … that would just be so hard. So scary," she said.
"And you just don't know what would happen, whether you'd get kicked out, there was just so much fear there.
"And having to just keep that part of me completely silent, and question it alone without being able to talk to anyone about it is pretty scary."
Ms Leitch said the amended contract was a "horrible thing" but "it means that it's something we can fight directly."
"It's something that's there and it exists, and it's black and white. And we're able to be say 'this is not OK'… we have a platform to build off of now," she said.
Ms Leitch said she wanted queer students at Citipointe, and other schools, to know they were not alone.
"You're valid and these things they're saying is not true. Don't let it change how you see yourself and don't let it make yourself think that you're not worthy. This whole community of people will stand behind you and support you, and we're doing to do everything we can to change this experience for you."
School has 'certain freedoms' under law to include clauses
In a statement to the media, Principal Pastor Brian Mulheran said the college "does not judge students on their sexuality or gender identity and we would not make a decision about their enrolment in the college simply on that basis".
He said the college wants to give parents and students the right to make an "informed choice" about supporting the school's approach to Christian education.
"We have always held these Christian beliefs and we have tried to be fair and transparent to everyone in our community by making them clear in the enrolment contract," he said.
"The college, through the freedoms afforded to it by law, has outlined our common beliefs and practices, so that parents can choose for their children to be educated at Citipointe and join our faith-based community."
Mr Mulheran said the school had sought legal advice in amending the contract, and argued it had "certain freedoms under international law and under Commonwealth and state legislation" which allowed it to include the new clauses.
Independent Schools Queensland chief executive Christopher Mountford told ABC Radio Brisbane independent schools were "their own entities" and could "deliver their own enrolment contract".
"The schools are being transparent and up-front in their enrolment contracts around the issues and beliefs that they have as a school, and that's consistent with other independent schools as well, and those contracts are legal under the current legislation," he said.
"The question of whether or not the school should or could do these things, is best answered by thinking through 'what are the school's ethos and processes they're putting forward to the community?' Is it reasonable and legal, what they're putting forward, and then can parents choose to engage in that school or not?"
He said it was important to have diversity across schools to allow parents to send their child to a school that "aligns with their beliefs and values".