Citipointe Christian College withdraws enrolment contract after backlash


brian mulheran citipointe christian college principal
Image: Citipointe Christian College

Citipointe Christian College has withdrawn its contentious enrolment contract on homosexuality and gender identity, with the Queensland school’s principal expressing “deep regret” for its impact on students.

The Carindale religious school, in Brisbane’s south, sparked a week of backlash when Principal Pastor Brian Mulheran issued the contract to parents last week.

The contract required families to denounce “sinful” homosexuality as “destructive to society” and as “sexually immoral” as bestiality, incest and paedophilia.

The document also required students identify by gender assigned at birth or face “exclusion” from the school.

Families were required to sign it just days before students returned to the Prep to Year 12 school.

However the contract has sparked outrage and intense backlash both within the school and the wider community. A Change.org petition against it now has over 155,000 signatures.

Citipointe Christian College principal withdraws contract

In a statement on Thursday, Citipointe principal Brian Mulheran said the school had withdrawn the contract. He said the school would not ask parents to agree to it.

Mulheran said he “deeply regrets that some students feel that they would be discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity.”

“I apologise to them and their families on behalf of the College,” he said.

“As stated previously, the college does not and will not discriminate against any student because of their sexuality or gender identity.

“It is central to our faith that being gay or transgender in no way diminishes a person’s humanity or dignity in God’s eyes.

“It is also deeply distressing that some of our students have been vilified in the community simply for their religious beliefs or because they attend the College.

“I hope that by withdrawing the contract we can return all of our focus to the Christian education of our students as we begin this new year.

“I would also like to thank our families, students and staff who have continued to support us.”

Earlier this week, Mulheran initially defended the contract, saying the school had “always held these Christian beliefs” within the contract and he wanted to make them clear to families.

On Thursday, he said Citipointe had “the freedom to maintain its Christian ethos”.

He described this as “an essential part of Christian education and choice for parents.”

“As a college established for religious purposes, we will continue to provide an education based on our shared beliefs,” Mulheran said.

Creator of Citipointe petition says school still holds same views

Brisbane comedian Christian Hull posted to social media a letter sent to parents about the contract withdrawal.

Former student Bethany Lau, whose Change.org petition received 155,000 signatures welcomed the school’s withdrawal of the contract.

“We appreciate the love and support that we have received from the community,” Lau said.

“This is the first step to ensuring that our schools remain a safe space for all LGBTQI+ students.

But Lau said unfortunately, the actions of Citipointe Christian College are “indicative of a much broader issue.”

“Citipointe has made it clear that although it is no longer written in the contract, their view on the matter remains fundamentally the same.

“Many students across the nation will be scared to return to school on Monday.

“This contract has traumatised students, parents and the community, and we recognise that there is a lot of work to do in supporting these people.

“Let’s remain strong and remind each other that we are all loved equally amongst our community.”

Lau went on, “Organisations that support the actions of Citipointe Christian College will no doubt be lobbying over the coming weeks given this result.

“There are currently bills circulating parliament that aim to allow religious institutions to make decisions and statements around sexuality and gender identity that do not uphold the dignity and respect of LGBTQI+ people.

Lau said the government’s contentious religious freedom legislation “must not discriminate against society’s most vulnerable.”

School’s public funding reviewed amid parent complaints

Citipointe’s backdown comes after a group of families filed a complaint to the Queensland Human Rights Commission.

They argued the school hadn’t consulted them about the contract. They said the school was discriminating against students on the basis of sexuality and gender identity.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed in on the controversy, saying he “did not agree with” the school using the document.

Earlier this week, Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said the contract was unacceptable. She said the Education department had also received complaints from the school.

She said the QHRC warned the school they couldn’t “contract out” of laws preventing discrimination against certain students.

On Tuesday Grace also referred the matter to Queensland’s Non-State Schools Accreditation Board for review.

In 2019, the private school received around $3.6 million in recurring state funding, and more than $10.8 million from the federal government, the Brisbane Times reported.

The Non-State Schools Accreditation Board ensures all schools meet criteria required for taxpayer funding.

The board will meet today and start the review into Citipointe Christian College and whether it breached the requirement for equal treatment for students.

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2 Comments

  1. David Gadd
    3 February 2022
    Reply

    Question is if he didnt want to discriminate and wasnt wanting to upset people, why the hell do it in the first place. Maybe we should send out a letter to parent asking whether we should withhold Tax payer commonwealth funding from this school. Bet they wouldnt like that, but then again we all know that the church run schools have always thought they are above the law.

  2. Kangaroo Jack
    3 February 2022
    Reply

    Completely agree David.
    The vicar of Christ the Redeemer at Citipointe Xtian College is obviously a moron.
    What the fuck were they thinking when they slid that soiled nappy into the kids backpacks for signature by their abusive parents.
    Appalling. Simply stupid that a man with this lack of chess playing skills didn’t see it coming. Stupid cvnt.

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