ESI BLOG

Faith based schools have the right to discriminate
10th November 2010

Today's Age has a front page story about an Anglican girls' school stopping a student taking her lesbian partner to the school social.  I argue on the Punch and below that schools have the right to discriminate.

Given Victoria’s November election and the Greens Party’s policy on sexual orientation and gender identity this week’s controversy about a girls’ school banning a student from taking her lesbian partner to the school social is timely.

If the Greens Party wins the balance of power in the upcoming state election and is able to implement its policy then there is every chance that Catholic schools will be forced to employ gay/lesbian teachers and promote the benefits of alternative sexuality and gender lifestyles to students.

Government and other faith-based schools will also be made to teach a curriculum that positively discriminates in favour of gays, lesbians, transgender and intersex persons.

Even though gays and lesbians only represent 1 to 2 per cent of the population, the radical Greens Party wants to promote such a life-style as acceptable and normal.

It’s policy document headed ‘Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Politics’ argues that when it comes to sexuality there must be “an end to all forms of discrimination” and that government must legislate to end discrimination based on “sexual orientation or gender identity”.

The Greens’ education policy also argues that schools, especially Catholic and other faith-based schools, no longer have the right to decide who they employ or who they enrol when it states that such schools adopt “non-discriminatory staff recruitment and enrolment policies”.

If schools refuse to implement such extreme policies, as they run counter to a school’s religious beliefs and mission, then the Greens argue that such schools should lose funding.

Ignored is that most Australians accept the fact that marriage is between a man and a women and that heterosexuality is the norm.

Also ignored is that freedom of religion is a basic human right and that parents have the right to enrol their children in schools that reflect and teach the values they believe are important.

It’s not only the Greens that want to teach children that gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and intersex lifestyles are normal and acceptable.

The Victorian Branch of the Australian Education Union has argued for years that it is wrong for schools to discriminate and that such lifestyles must be presented in a positive light.

Gay/lesbian activists argue that plays like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and fairy tales like Cinderella should not be taught as they celebrate heterosexuality and a happy ending is defined as marrying the Prince.

The blue print for every Australian school endorsed by federal, state and territory education ministers, the Melbourne Declaration, also argues that it is wrong for schools to discriminate in areas like gender and sexual orientation.

Taken to their conclusion, and if the Greens win control of the Victorian Parliament, such policies will mean that every student in the state will be taught that more extreme forms of sexuality and gender relations are normal.

Schools will also be discriminated against by losing funding if they refuse to follow what the government dictates.

It’s true that everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity, should be treated fairly and justly.  When it comes to same sex relationships, for example, most people accept that gays and lesbians are entitled to the same legal and other property rights as heterosexual couples.

It’s also true that faith-based schools, because of their religious nature, have every right to ensure that who they enrol and who they employ are able to accept and live by the moral and spiritual values considered central to the schools’ mission.

 

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10th November 2010

Today's Age has a front page story about an Anglican girls' school stopping a student taking her lesbian partner to the school social.  I argue on the Punch and below that schools have the righ...
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