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Christian school asked teachers to sign contract promising they won’t be openly gay

Mishti Ali March 21, 2022
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Activists protest against the school's enrolment contracts. (Jono Searle/ Getty Images)

Teachers at Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane, Australia, have been asked to sign contracts which warn that they could lose their jobs for being openly gay.

Just last month, the school’s principal, pastor Brian Mulheran, stepped down after scrapping “discriminatory” enrolment contracts for students.

The document said the college would only enrol a student “on the basis of the gender that corresponds to their biological sex”, as well as declaring that homosexuality and bisexuality are “sinful”, comparing being queer to bestiality, incest and paedophilia.

Having withdrawn the student agreements, it’s now emerged that the employment contracts for teachers at the school contain a clause forbidding them from expressing any sexuality other than “through heterosexual, monogamous relationships, expressed intimately through marriage”.

According to The Guardian, the contract warns: “Your failure to abide by such requirements expressed in the above clauses could constitute a breach of your employment contract and subsequent dismissal.”

The school claims that the wording of conditions for employment as set out by the contracts is “under review”.

One former teacher claims he has lost his job for refusing to sign the document last month.

“Not signing this contract was my choice, but I have effectively lost my job to discrimination,” he told The Guardian.

However Citipointe has disputed this, saying: “No member of staff has had their employment terminated for failing to sign their employment contract.”

A statement added: “One staff member who received an employment contract for the 2022 school year, before the decision was made on 24 February to amend the Statement of Faith (which is part of the contract), has informed the college that they are unable to sign the contract.

“The staff member remains employed at the college at this time. However, the contract in question refers to the Statement of Faith which was retracted in February and will be replaced by a revised version with no references to sexuality and gender identity.”

Under Queensland law, religious bodies are allowed to discriminate in certain circumstances. Nevertheless, according to The Guardian, lawyers have questioned the legality of the document.

Matilda Alexander from the LGBTI legal service told the paper that the contracts “seek to prohibit conduct that is not in connection with the workplace by stopping an employee acting in a way that is contrary to the religious beliefs of the college, whether or not this is done openly.”

“It changes the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mantra to ‘don’t do it’. This is far beyond the power of any employer in Queensland. We all have the right to attend work and pursue our own personal lives outside of work, even if working for a religious school.”

In its statement, Citipointe added: “The college is reviewing its employment contract and other documents after the decision to amend the Statement of Faith. After the review is completed, new employment contracts will be offered to relevant staff.”

PinkNews contacted Citipointe Christian College for further comment.

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