The church that runs some of Australia’s most exclusive schools wants the right to bar gay students from leadership positions
- Church wants to ban homosexual school leaders
- Anyone having sex outside of marriage is also banned
A church that runs some of Australia’s most prestigious schools has been sued for banning gay students from becoming principals.
The Presbyterian Church also advocates extending the ban to anyone who has sex outside of marriage.
The organization argues that students “will not be able to provide appropriate Christian leadership in a Christian school that requires modeling of Christian life.”
The Presbyterian Church has over 500 congregations across Australia and operates over 20 schools and preschools, including prestigious private schools in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The Church made the extraordinary demand in a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission.
A church that runs some of the most prestigious schools in the country has been called out for banning gay students from becoming principals
The ALRC is currently reviewing religious schools and their exemption from the federal anti-discrimination law.
Some schools are currently not liable to the law if the discrimination is consistent with their religious tenants and beliefs.
The ALRC has asked for feedback on some of the proposed changes that would make it illegal to discriminate against students based on their sexual orientation.
The Presbyterian Church argued in its speech that students should be able to provide “appropriate Christian leadership” if they are elected school leaders.
“If this student were in an active same-sex relationship, they would not be able to provide appropriate Christian leadership in a Christian school that requires exemplary Christian living,” the entry read.
This would also be the case for a student in a sexually active unmarried heterosexual relationship.
“In both cases, the proposal deprives schools of the ability to define an ethos by selecting appropriate leaders.”
The ALRC is also reviewing a proposal that would make it illegal to discriminate against teachers and staff based on their sexual orientation.
The Presbyterian Church revealed in its submission that it wants to retain the power to discriminate against staff if they don’t “consistently live the entire Christian faith.”
The church operates some of the most prestigious schools in the country, including Brisbane Boys’ College and Somerville House in Queensland.
Presbyterian Ladies’ College and Scotch College in Victoria and Presbyterian Ladies’ College and The Scots College in NSW are also listed.
The Presbyterian Church also advocates extending the ban to anyone who has sex outside of marriage
“We promote equality and inclusive educational and leadership opportunities for all our students,” he said Courier Mail.
Rainbow Families Queensland submitted its own submission saying some parents were too scared to speak out for fear of repercussions.
“Amending the law’s outdated exemptions on gender discrimination and ensuring that children are protected from discrimination by association will positively impact the culture of exclusive schools over time,” the entry reads. .
Since 2009, 23 complaints have been made by students, according to the Queensland Human Rights Commission.
“Most of the complaints about private education providers have been about disability or racial discrimination and are therefore beyond the scope of this discussion,” the entry read.
Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles says students’ leadership skills should not be tied to their sexuality.
“We don’t see a situation where we accidentally discriminate against children,” he said.
“Leadership and the qualities of leadership are not a function of people’s sexual orientation, and we must ensure that we have the broadest pool of people for leadership positions in our society.”
Federal Attorney General Mark Dreyfus directed the ARLC to conduct the November 2022 review of the federal anti-discrimination law.
The review is expected to be completed in April.