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Christian school faces please explain over gender contracts

Queensland’s education minister has urged a Brisbane Pentecostal Christian school to revoke student gender and sexuality contracts amid two probes into the controversial pacts.

Feb 02, 2022, updated Feb 02, 2022
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right), Education Minister Grace Grace. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right), Education Minister Grace Grace. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Citipointe Christian College in Carindale is facing a possible review of its state funding and anti-discrimination action over the contracts sent to parents last week ahead of the start of the school year next Monday.

The pacts said “the college will only enrol the student on the basis of the gender that corresponds to their biological sex” and said homosexuality was “sinful”, like bestiality, incest and paedophilia.

The Non-State Schools Accreditation Board is reviewing the contracts, about which complaints have also been lodged with the Queensland Human Rights Commission.

Education Minister Grace Grace has urged Citipointe to rescind the contracts and prioritise their students’ mental health.

“There is no need to put this additional stress with this hanging over the head of students simply because of their, you know, sexual orientation or their gender identity,” she ABC Radio on Monday.

“We’ve had a couple of years of very disruptive schooling with COVID, we certainly don’t need this now.”

“And we certainly don’t need this kind of contract to go out without consultation, is what I understand, on a Friday afternoon before they’re due to start their senior online.

“The timing, I think is very inappropriate, I think this is unacceptable, and I call on them to withdraw these contracts as soon as possible.”

Citipointe reportedly sought legal advice before issuing the contracts and Principal Brian Mulherin insisted that 350 families had been consulted about the contracts over the previous 14 months.

“All these families acknowledged our Christian ethos as the basis for the education of their children,” he said in a video statement on Tuesday night.

He added that the school had dealt with “individual conduct or behavioural issues” like other religious schools and that no Citipointe student had ever been expelled “because they are gay or transgender”.

The education minister said the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board chair Lynne Foley had told her the body would try to discuss the contracts on Thursday.

“To have an initial look at this issue and what can be done,” Ms Grace said.

The Queensland Human Rights Commission would also probe complaints made about the contracts, the minister said, and whether they comply with the state’s human rights laws.

“I know that parents have referred this to the Human Rights Commission and I’m sure they’ll undertake an investigation into this as well,” Ms Grace said.

Federal MP Angie Bell said the contracts may be allowed under the current federal sex discrimination laws, which she said the Morrison government was trying to change.

The Liberal National Party MP said Australia was “not 1950 anymore” and Citipointe’s contracts were “simply wrong.”

“I don’t agree with them lumping students, who are unsure about their sexuality or or unsure about their gender identity, I don’t agree with them lumping them in with the likes of pedophiles and adulterers,” she told ABC Radio.

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