Brisbane Lord Mayor to raise concerns with Citipointe Christian College


brisbane lord mayor citipointe christian college
Images: YouTube, Channel 10

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has raised concerns with the principal of his former school Citipointe Christian College following outrage over the school’s shock enrolment contract on gender identity and homosexuality.

The religious school, located in Carindale in Brisbane’s east, has forced parents to sign a contract denouncing “sinful” homosexuality and requiring students identify as their sex assigned at birth or face “exclusion”.

Cr Schrinner graduated from the school in 1994, and his children now attend there, the Brisbane Times reported.

“Like other parents, this has caught us by surprise,” he said.

“I will be raising my concerns with the principal.

“I’m reassured by his public statements that Citipointe doesn’t discriminate against students because of their sexuality or gender identity.”

As backlash grew at the weekend, principal Brian Mulheran said 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.”

However that claim appears at odds with the school document. More than 100,000 people have signed a Change.org petition against it.

Labor council opposition leader Jared Cassidy said there was “no place in our society for such backwards and discriminatory views”.

On Tuesday afternoon, Labor slammed Cr Schrinner and his LNP council for blocking a motion to “condemn the discriminatory practice” of the college and “join calls for its enrolment contract to be recalled.”

LNP councillors voted against suspending standing orders to add the urgency motion to the agenda during the council meeting.

Cr Schrinner later said he had spoken with the school’s principal and “has not signed the contract for his children and did not plan to.”

“I welcome the indication from the school that it is reconsidering what has been put forward,” he said.

LGBTI Legal Service providing advice to families

Meanwhile, Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said she plans to refer the issue to the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board.

“I think this is unacceptable, the ‘values’ laid out in this document don’t seem very Christian to me,” she told the Courier-Mail.

“Every student deserves to feel accepted and supported at school.

“I’ve raised the issue with the Attorney-General around anti-discrimination laws.

“And I’d encourage parents, carers, or students at the school to report [any cases of discrimination] to the Human Rights Commission.”

Queer former students of Citipointe Christian College have also spoken out about their experiences at the school.

LGBTI Legal Service President Matilda Alexander said the group are providing free legal advice to Citipointe families on the impacts of the contract.

PFLAG spokesperson Jane Hopkins said she’s also supporting families who report the contract has impacted their mental health.

Hopkins fears other schools will follow if the federal government passes the contentious Religious Discrimination Bill.

Human Rights Commission responds to Citipointe contract

Citipointe Christian College Principal Mulheran previously told parents the school had sought legal advice on the new contract.

He argued the school had “certain freedoms under international law and under Commonwealth and state legislation” which permit the contentious clauses.

However the Queensland Human Rights Commission warned state laws don’t permit religious schools to discriminate against enrolled LGBTQ students.

“The Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act has not permitted religious schools to discriminate against currently enrolled students because of their sexuality or gender identity for 20 years,” the QHRC said.

“Expelling, disciplining or otherwise treating a student unfavourably because of these characteristics is unlawful discrimination in Queensland.

“While there is an exemption in Queensland that allows for a school to operate as a single sex or a religious school, this applies only to prospective students.

“[The law] does not allow a school to refuse enrolment based on gender identity or sexuality.

“A school policy that requires a trans or gender diverse young person to be treated as their sex assigned at birth, or that requires a young person to hide or deny their sexuality, is likely to amount to unlawful discrimination.

“If a child in a school is treated unfavourably because their parent is LGBTQ+ this may also amount to discrimination on the basis of ‘association’ with their parent’s sexuality or gender identity.

“Schools cannot contract out of their duties under discrimination laws by asking parents or students to agree to discriminatory terms.”

The QHRC said “all students and their families should feel they belong in their school community.”

“A sense of belonging is conducive to an environment in which students feel confident to participate, and which enables them to reach their full potential.”

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