Beloved teacher sacked from Christian school for being gay says God is ‘cool’ with her sexuality
An English teacher in Australia has claimed she was sacked from a Christian school for being gay, but a proposed “religious discrimination” law could make this commonplace across the country.
Steph Lentz was in the audience during an episode of the Australian current affairs show Q&A this week, in which the panel were discussing the newly proposed Religious Discrimination Bill, which would allow faith-based organisations like churches, schools and workplaces to override anti-discrimination laws in the name of “belief”.
Lentz told the panellists, which included theologian and pastor Michael Jensen and New South Wales MP Jason Falinski, about her experience.
She said she had worked as an English teacher at Christian school, incidentally in Falinski’s electorate, between 2017 and 2019.
“I loved it, I think I was really good at my job,” said Lentz.
“I really enjoyed the colleagues and the relationships with students, but in January this year the school fired me. And they fired me because I’m gay.
“They fired me because they disagreed with me that you can be Christian and also live true to the biological realities of your sexuality or gender.”
Lentz said she had offered to publicly back the school’s position on sexuality, “notwithstanding things that I believed would be harmful to the students.”
She continued: “However, the school wasn’t willing to engage in debate on that, and they terminated my employment because of my sexuality and my belief that it’s OK to be gay, that God’s cool with it.”
— QandA (@QandA) November 25, 2021
Australia’s Religious Discrimination Bill would be disastrous for gay teachers
In New South Wales, where Steph Lentz worked, faith-based organisations like religious schools are able to discriminate against LGBT+ people in employment, according to the state’s anti-discrimination law.
But there are other Australian states where no such exemptions exist, so the Religious Discrimination Bill would override existing law.
Australia’s Human Rights Law Centre explained in a release that it would “allow people to make derogatory, offensive and harmful statements of belief, including in workplaces, schools and health services, and that override federal, state and territory anti-discrimination laws, thereby denying victims an important avenue for justice.”
The terrifying bill, the centre said, would “grant unprecedented licence to religious bodies, including schools and charities, to discriminate against people of a different faith or no faith in a range of circumstances”.