Australia: School chaplain sacked for saying gays are ‘not normal’
A school chaplain who posted on Facebook to say that homosexuality is “not normal”, has been sacked.
Troy Williams, a Hobart College chaplain and Kingborough youth outreach officer, shared an image with a quote by controversial self-proclaimed lesbian activist Camille Paglia which reads: “Homosexuality is not ‘normal’. On the contrary it is a challenge to the norm.
“Nature exists whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single relentless rule.
“No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous.”
Williams has since removed the post and apologised.
He had been employed by the Scripture Union, Tasmania’s main provider of school chaplaincy services, and was stood down as a chaplain at the school, as well as his post as an outreach officer.
Following meetings yesterday, Mr Williams was stood down from both posts.
He since said: “I’ve made a mistake and learnt from it.
“I’m deeply sorry for any offence I’ve caused. I was very careless in posting that image for discussion.
“I will work with my employers to ensure there is no repeat.”
Education Minister Michael Ferguson said: “Bigotry, in all its forms, is unacceptable in our community, and it certainly has no place in our school environment.
“That extends to the social media accounts of those who work in our schools, who are all role models for our students.
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“We expect much better. My department is seeking an urgent explanation from the Scripture Union about what it is doing to ensure this does not happen again.”
Peter Swift, the Scripture Union’s chaplaincy development manager, said: “Chaplaincy is about supporting people whatever their issues are, and it’s just unfortunate that someone’s acted outside of that.”
“We want our employees to always act responsibly and carefully and thoughtfully, and in this instance someone has stepped outside that so we want to work with him.”
LGBT activist and academic Rodney Croome said: “I was quite horrified because what this post says to young gay people is that someone they should be able to trust and who should support them thinks that their sexuality is abnormal, unnatural and a choice.
“Those myths aren’t just wrong, I think they’re very dangerous to the wellbeing of young same-sex attracted young people.
“That not only means young gay people won’t be able to seek support from him, but he’s actually making their life worse, he’s perpetuating stigma against them.”