A Brisbane private school has decided to ditch its problematic enrolment contracts for students.
Citipointe Christian College's contract was sent to parents late last week.
It allowed the school to terminate a child's enrolment if they came out as transgender and also labeled homosexuality as 'sinful and destructive'.
"Whilst each student is individually valued and equally encouraged to pursue opportunities in both academic and co-curricular activities, I/we agree that, where distinctions are made between male and female (inclusive of, but not limited to, for example, uniforms, presentation, terminology, use of facilities and amenities, participation in sporting events and accommodation) such distinctions will be applied on the basis of the individual's biological sex," the contract said.
The wording of the contract likened gay acts to bestiality, paedophilia and incest.
The school copped a wave of barrage from people all across the country this week, however, the school's principal, Pastor Brian Mulheran, pushed ahead with the idea.
"We are a community because we have common beliefs and practises which have been central to our approach to Christian education since the school was established in 1978," he said in a video released in the wake of the backlash.
"The college has always believed and taught the view that sexuality is something that school-aged children should hold sacred and that they should keep themselves for their lifetime marriage partner, in accordance with a biblical understanding of marriage," he added.
Parents were then been given a two-week extension to consider their options and were required to return the signed contracts by February 21.
Today (February 3), however, Mulheran has backed down in the wake of 'significant media commentary'.
In a note sent to parents, he said it was 'distressing' the contract had led some to believe the College would 'discriminate against our student or parent body'.
"Discrimination law is complex, particularly when there is an interrelationship between Federal and State legislation," he said.
"The College believed that the amendments made to the Enrolment Contract were lawful and did not constitute discrimination.
"The College does now, and will not, discriminate in its operations."
He did concede that with 'further reflection', the process could have been handled better, and noted that the wording 'has caused some concern'.
"This was certainly never intended and is regrettable," he added.
The contracts have now been abandoned in favour of the previous enrolment terms and conditions.
"In an already disrupted start to the year, I sincerely apologise for any angst caused to you and your family surrounding the amended Enrolment Contract," Mulheran wrote.
A group of parents was reportedly taking the issue to the Human Rights Commission, claiming they were not consulted on the contract and that it discriminated against students on the basis of sexuality and gender identity.
A teacher at the school, Helen Clapham Burns, resigned and withdrew her child's enrolment based on the contract's contents.
Potential action was also flagged by the State Government, with Queensland Education Minister, Grace Grace, referring the matter to Queensland's Non-State School's Accreditation Board.
"They will be looking at this issue from the legislation," she said. "In this day and age, to see this happening, is actually unbelievable.
"We strive for an inclusive and supportive school environment - that is what we should be doing - and no student should be denied a world-class education because they are a member of the LGBTQI+ community."
According to SBS, Citipointe Christian College received more than $14.5 million in both state and federal funding in 2019.
It received $10.88 million from the Federal Government alone in 2019, according to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.
Prior to the contracts being rescinded, over 150,000 people had signed a petition calling on the school to drop the contracts.
The petition's authors said they 'will not stand for such blatant transphobia and homophobia'.
"Citipointe is using their religious beliefs to openly discriminate against queer and trans students, as well as threatening to take away their education," the petition said.