Anglican Dioceses of Sydney to remove anti-gay marriage commitment for school leaders
The Anglican Dioceses of Sydney plans to retract a clause forcing Anglican school principals and directors to sign a document that explicitly opposes same-sex marriage.
Introduced last year, Anglican school leaders were forced to affirm their beliefs aligned with the Church – with one clause specifically stating that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Following criticism from school leaders and families surrounding the commitment, the group plan to remove the clause from their administered schools.
Changes To Commitments
The diocese is planning to change the policy for new school leaders, opting for a blanket statement and evidence of the individual’s faith and practices which align with the denomination.
The draft policy is currently being provided to schools and organisations for feedback until the end of the year.
The change is linked to the backlash received during its implementation last year, and will be formally addressed by the dioceses at the Anglican Synod meeting next month.
Received by Sydney Morning Herald, the report to be presented by the diocese says,
“Feedback has focused on the relational difficulties it has created in school contexts.”
The diocese blames the influence of “hostile” modern culture which opposes “traditional Christian beliefs and practices” as being the reason for the change.
“This may create a barrier for the recruitment of governors and leaders, who, while personally agreeing with the statement, may face sanctions from their employer or be prevented from taking up these voluntary roles,” the report explains.
Diocese Notorious For Conservative Beliefs
The Sydney Anglican Dioceses is known for their outward disdain of gay and transgender people.
Equality Australia legal director, Ghassan Kassisieh, has previously criticised the organisation for inciting “a culture of cruelty towards LGBTQ+ people.”
“They are taking advantage of laws that allow them to discriminate by defining their own rules… and firing or refusing to hire anyone who doesn’t agree with their prejudiced beliefs about LGBTQ+ people,” continued Kassisieh.
The diocese administers multiple private schools in Sydney including King’s School, Trinity Grammar and Barker College.