A religious school in Adelaide has said they will continue not to hire staff that identify as LGBTQIA+.
Southern Vales Christian College have stated in their information pack for prospective employees that “Our beliefs are such that we do not accept that homosexuality is appropriate”.
The school has ties with the Harvest Church who believe homosexuality is “contrary to God’s order” and “a perversion of the natural order and believers cannot enter into it.”
The school’s principal told 9News they were committed to upholding “the values of its Christian faith and always aims to employ people who hold the same beliefs”, as reflected in the policy.
The news report by 9News found there was division amongst the community with some community members saying they did not agree with the schools attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ people while others supported the discriminatory policy.
SA Premier Steven Marshall Speaks Up For Equality
In response to Southern Vales Christian College defending their employment policy, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has spoken against religious schools that discriminate against LGBTQI+ staff.
“South Australia has always been a diverse, accepting, respectful state and we don’t want to have discrimination here in our state.” the Premier said.
Last week the upper house of the South Australian Parliament passed a hate crimes bill which aims to protect survivors of hate crimes, including LGBTIQ+ people, by ensuring that courts can take into account the impact of hate on survivors and our communities when sentencing.
The bill will now progress to the lower house where it is expected to pass. The South Australian Parliament’s Legislative Council also passed a motion last week recognising the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
The South Australian government has yet to table a bill to protect LGBTQIA+ staff students from discriminatory school policies.
Australian Laws Allow Religious Schools To Discriminate Against Gay Staff
Currently, Federal and state laws in Australia allow religious schools to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ staff and students.
In 2018 the Religious Freedom Review was released which requested that religious schools maintain their rights to discriminate against staff and students based on their sexuality, even though most Australians disagree with these sorts of laws.