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Anglicans of school leaders have withdrawn support for gay discrimination exemptions


November 7, 2018 15:22:53

While the leaders of the two Anglican schools have moved away from the controversial letter that protects the exceptions of homosexual discrimination, the other in Waverley is under fire by former students because he has not done so.

Key points:

  • Abbotsleigh and Barker College bosses give a sincere apology for writing difficulties
  • Barker College Major Phillip Heath says a letter from a diocese in Sydney has caused unintentional injuries
  • Both schools have signaled that they will support reform or remove discrimination from discrimination

Last week, the bosses of 34 Anglican schools in New South Wales wrote to federal lawmakers inviting them to protect their exemptions from the Gender Discrimination Act that allowed them to robbed or expelled LGBTI staff and students.

Yesterday, Abbotsleigh's private school girls at Wahroongi and Barker College in Hornsby wrote to their communities, apologizing for the problem causing the letter.

In response to the criticism, two school leaders signaled they would support removing the exemption from discrimination.

Meanwhile, former school students St. Katherine in Waverley wrote to school principal Julie Townsend, condemning her for a light reaction to the blow.

Dr Townsend, who signed the original letter from the diocese of Sydney, said the exemptions were the only legislative protection of the religious freedom enjoyed by the school.

She also claimed that the school promoted diversity and that media coverage of the issue was sensationalized.

In response, an open letter with more than 580 signatures to former students, some of whom attended school in 1975, sent Dr. Townsend on Monday.

He urged directors to withdraw public support for exemptions.

"Do not make a mistake," said the letter, "of your denial of support [gay] students are really a matter of life and death. "

"At best, that implies [gay] students and staff remain in school for your satisfaction – not because their schooling or their contributions to the community are appreciated or protected, but because they are just "suing" at the moment. "

In ABC's correspondence between the author and Dr. Townsenda, the director said that she was sympathetic to her concerns but would not withdraw support for religious exemption.

"What I'm looking for is … the right to hiring staff who support the Christian character and purpose of the school," she said.

"If religious schools do not have religious freedom, I would not be able to do it."

doctor Townsend did not want to interview ABC.

"We're sorry," Anglicians say

While St Katherine's graduates said they were disappointed with their director's response, other Anglican school leaders in Sydney were strengthened and withdrew their support for exemptions.

"I'm sorry that some members of our community felt discriminated," Director Abbotsleigh Megan Krimmer said in a letter addressed to the Wahroong community on Monday.

"This is something that should not happen and I apologize for the incredible injury you felt and feel."

Ms Krimmer said that the protection of religious freedoms associated with the exemptions from the Gender Discrimination Act was "unpleasant" and would support the removal of these exemptions.

At Barker College, chairman of the school council Peter Berkley also offered apologetic statements and calls for reforms, but stressed that rage reagents are fueled by the media and "fall into social media fire."

"Unfortunately, media reporting on these issues and escalation on social media has affected our students," said Mr. Berkley.

"It hurt our young people. Some of our students think that we really want to expel them because they are gay.

"We have not seen this and we're sorry … make sure of our inescapable dedication to the fact that is best for our children."

Mr. Berkley also said that Barker College leader Phillip Heath, who was one of the original 34 signatures, and his family received hate and "rampant personal attacks" on social media.

In a special letter, Mr. Heath stated that he had signed the original letter at the request of the Diocese of Sydney, which said he would "assist in supporting the parliamentary debate on religious freedom."

"Now it is clear that the letter has created unintentional injuries and divisions," Mr Heath said.

"It was not intended as a message of discrimination or cruelty and I'm really upset to see such an influence.

"As I have said before, I consider these exceptions to be deeply disturbed and completely outdated."

Tara Anglican School of Girls in North Parramatta also wrote to her community, explaining she had not inquired about the sexuality of future or current employees.

Head of School Susan Middlebrook, in a letter published Monday afternoon, said the letter refers to "retaining the right to recruit staff who will support the Christian ethos of our schools."

The Tara Anglican School for Girls did not answer ABC questions about whether she would also support the removal of the exemption from the Sex Discrimination Act.






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First published

November 7, 2018 11:05:11

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