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Principal Responsible For Homophobic Enrolment Contracts Stands Aside

Vivienne Kelly

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Principal Responsible For Homophobic Enrolment Contracts Stands Aside

Pastor Brian Mulheran is no longer running Brisbane's Citipointe Christian College.

The principal stepped aside late on Friday (February 4) after mounting backlash relating to the school's enrolment contracts.

The contracts 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The school copped backlash from people all across the country this week, which resulted in the contracts being withdrawn.

Late on Friday, a letter from Mulheran then leaked, which acknowledged the 'great deal of hurt and distress' the contracts had caused.

"Our intention was only to offer families a choice about how their children are educated, and to be open and transparent about our religious ethos that guides the way we teach and care for our students," the letter read.

"I am heartbroken that by doing so, our College, and our community have suffered so much."

The school's leader said he was 'devastated' to learn that students have 'suffered hurtful and hate-filled verbal assaults' due to their beliefs and their attendance at the College.

He added that he'd never intended to discriminate against any students based on their sexuality or gender identity, but instead wanted to offer parents a choice about how their children are educated.

In light of the controversy, Mulheran said head of primary, Ruth Gravestein, would step into the acting principal role.

"Our college community needs time to heal after the events of this week," he said.

"Just as importantly, Citipointe needs to be ready to welcome students on Monday with a positive outlook to start the new school year.

"With this in mind, I feel it is right for me to stand aside and take extended leave in order to reflect on what has transpired and provide the College community time to heal."

Credit: Citipointe Christian College
Credit: Citipointe Christian College

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.

Featured Image Credit: Christian Hull/Facebook

Topics: News, Australia

Vivienne Kelly
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