Brisbane Christian school reveals shocking contract for students

A Christian school in Brisbane is under fire after it revealed an updated contract that parents are required to sign when enrolling their children in the school.

Citipointe Christian College’s sent their updated contract to parents ahead of the new school year, adding in a new clause that allows the school to expel students if they fail to identify with their birth gender. The school says the Bible does not make any distinction between gender and biological sex.

The contract also describes homosexuality and bisexuality as “sinful, offensive and destructive” and lists it alongside adultery, fornication, incest, pedophilia and pornography.

“We believe that any form of sexual immortality (including but not limited to; adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, bisexual act, incest, paedophilia and pornography) is sinful and offensive to God and is destructive to human relationships and society,” the contract states.

The document also says sexual intimacy should only ever occur between married couples, and only marriage between a man and a woman should be recognised. Marriage is described as a commitment for life. If parents do not sign the document their children will no longer be welcome at the school.

The contract was highlighted online by Australian comedian Christian Hull. Appearing on Brisbane’s Hit b105 radio station earlier today Hull said it was shocking that the school had opted to outline their stance in a written contract.

“What’s so shocking is that this school has come out and written it in a contract. They’re blatantly spelling this type of discrimination out, and you just have to stand back and go ‘Oh my God, are we regressing as a country?'” Hull said.

The comedian said it was alarming that private schools were given a substantial amount of tax payer funds to operate, but were still permitted to make such statements.

Record show in 2019 the school received $14 million in government funding, alongside over $15 million in fees and contributions from parents.

The school has defended their stance saying it was simply outlining what they believed to be essential condition of living a faithful Christian life.

“The freedom to maintain the school’s Christian ethos guarantees our ability to offer children our model of religious belief. Importantly, this freedom does not target any particular group or person. Our Declaration of Faith covers a range of areas that INC considers are important to a faithful Christian life.” the school said in a statement.

We believe that each individual is created in the image of God, and that we are all equal and should be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. Our Church also believes in the teachings of the Bible that hold that marriage was instituted by God as between a man and a woman and which do not distinguish between gender and biological sex.”

The school’s Principal, Pastor Brian Mulheran, said the new contract was improving the transparency about the school’s values and beliefs, and allowing families to make an informed choice about their children’s education.

Despite describing homosexuality in the same phrasing as pedophilia and incest, Pastor Mulheran said the school did not make any judgements about individual students sexuality or gender identity.

“Citipointe 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.” Pastor Mulheran said.

LGBTIQA+ rights advocates say the school’s stance shows an insight into what the Religious Discrimination bill will deliver

Just.Equal Australia has warned that more faith-based schools will follow the lead of Brisbane’s Citipointe College, and overtly discriminate against LGBTIQ+ students, if the proposed federal Religious Discrimination Bill passes.

Just.Equal says the College’s “parental contract” runs contrary to Queensland anti-discrimination law, as well as state and federal anti-youth suicide prevention programs.

However, spokesperson for Just.Equal, Rodney Croome, said the federal government’s Religious Discrimination Bill’s provisions allowing discrimination in the name of religion are so wide they will effectively nullify existing state protections and give faith-based schools a green light to discriminate.

“If the Religious Discrimination Bill passes, more and more faith-based schools will follow the lead of Citipointe College by overtly discriminating against LGBTIQ+ students.”

“The religious exemptions in the Federal Bill are so wide they will effectively nullify existing state protections in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT and give a green light to discrimination across the nation.”

“Citipointe College is a taste of what Australia will become under the Religious Discrimination Bill, and that taste is very bitter for vulnerable LGBTIQ+ students.”
Rodney Croome

In 2018, a YouGov Galaxy poll found that 78% of Australians believed that religious schools should not be entitled to taxpayer funding if they discriminate against LGBTiQ+ teachers and students.

Family Voice Australia praise the school’s move

Conservative group Family Voice Australia has praised the school’s new contract. In an email National Director Peter Downie described it as “Great news”, praising the school for it’s decision. Family Voice Australia described Citipointe Christian College as “standing up for Christian values.”

In a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Right’s inquiry into the proposed Religious Discrimination legislation, which would require schools to publish clear statement’s of belief, the organisation voiced it’s support for the legislation, but said it did not go far enough.

Family Voice Australia told Canberra politicians that suggestions schools would want to have the right to expel LGBTIQA+ students were unfounded, unwarranted, and scaremongering.

“Critics have spoken out against the Bill, either calling for further watering down of the Bill, or for it to be scrapped altogether. In addition, opponents of the Bill raise
the spectre of hypothetical scenarios where single women are refused services by doctors, same sex attracted students are callously expelled from school, and Christian waitstaff serve you a fire and brimstone lecture on your sexuality with your morning coffee. Activist lobby groups decry that the Bill will seriously harm the rights and dignity of LGBTIQA+ Australians and other minority groups and will privilege religion.

“This opposition campaign is nothing more than an exercise in baseless scaremongering. It completely ignores the lived experiences of religious Australians who face hostility for their beliefs. The criticisms that have been levelled at the Bill do not stand up to even the most superficial scrutiny. There appears to be an unlevel playing field and proponents of the bill have been ‘pepper sprayed’ by the LGBTIQA+ activists.” the organisation said in their submission.

Online Petition draws thousands of signatures

A petition at calling out the school’s policy has attracted over 80,000 signatures.  Among the comments left by signatories are many people noting that they themselves are Christians, but the school’s stance, in their view, did not show Christian values.

Graeme Watson

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