Gay Sydney Teacher Fired After Social Media Outing

Gay Sydney Teacher Fired After Social Media Outing

A gay teacher at a religious private school in western Sydney, found herself abruptly unemployed last month.

The reason?

A parent discovered through a Facebook post that she was in a same-sex relationship and reported it to the school principal.

The principal met with the teacher and explained that her sexuality was at odds with the schools values and that her employment would be terminated.

Schools can still legally fire gay teachers

Under the current provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act, which grants religious schools the right to terminate employees based on their gender identity or sexuality, the school’s actions were legal.

This incident has reignited the debate over religious discrimination laws in Australia, exposing a glaring gap in the protection of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

The incident has sparked outrage among LGBTQIA+ advocates and politicians.

Stephen Bates, the LGBTQIA+ spokesperson for The Greens, minced no words in his criticism of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Labor government.

Bates accused Labor of cowardice, stating, “The Greens have been telling Labor repeatedly for months: let’s work together and pass the Australian Law Reform Commission’s recommendations. The only thing stopping Labor protecting LGBTIQA+ workers in their workplace is their own cowardice.”

“I’m sick of it.”

“You should not be fired for being LGBTQIA+. It’s as simple as that.”

“Labor needs to keep their promise to protect LGBTQIA+ people in school. People like Charlotte are losing their jobs and their livelihoods because of Labor’s inaction.”

Labor had campaigned on a promise to protect LGBTQIA+ students and staff in religious schools but has yet to deliver on this commitment.

Earlier this year, Albanese indicated that his government would shelve the planned reforms if they lacked the Coalition’s support, citing concerns about a divisive public debate. This decision has led to frustration and anger within the LGBTQIA+ community, who see it as a betrayal of a crucial promise.

Australian Christian Lobby continues to campaign

Meanwhile the Australian Christian Lobby have been celebrating the news as a win in their campaign to continue to allow religious organisations the right to discriminate.

Joshua Rowe, the NSW/ACT State Director for the Australian Christian Lobby said in a statement “It should not be surprising when Christian schools uphold Christian values and conduct their affairs accordingly.”

“The correspondence between the principal and the teacher was professional and outlined clearly that her conduct did not align with the teachings, beliefs, and practices of the institution. This constituted a breach of her employment contract”

He called on the government to continue to support religious organisations right to refuse employment to those who contradict their beliefs.

“It is incumbent upon state and federal governments to protect communities of faith, allowing them to uphold their values in accordance with the ethos of the school community” he stated.

“Christian education is not just about academia. It’s about living a Christ-like lifestyle. Faith communities employ staff who not only teach but exemplify what it means to live as a Christian.”

“This incident underscores the urgent need for specific protections that allow Christian schools to be selective in their employment practices. Such protections allow schools to ensure that staff members are willing to lead lifestyles that reflect and uphold the beliefs of the entire school community, educating students with a Christian worldview.”

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus defended the government’s position, arguing on ABC Radio that Labor seeks a lasting solution to a complex issue. He emphasised the need for bipartisan support to ensure any legislative changes endure beyond a change of government. “We want there to be an agreement across the parliament because we want anything that’s legislated to last beyond any change of government,” Dreyfus stated.

The Coalition’s shadow attorney-general, Michaelia Cash, countered that the government had already received feedback from the opposition and faith communities, urging Labor to release a revised draft of the legislation for public debate.

However new data released by Just Equal this week highlighted that more than half of Australians are opposed to religious schools being allowed to refuse employment to LGBTQIA+ people.

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One response to “Gay Sydney Teacher Fired After Social Media Outing”

  1. I’m an Anglican Priest. I believe the so-called “christian lobby” has a very limited and literal view of the Bible that does not stand up to careful scrutiny nor of the broadness of God’s love. Given that some so-called “christian schools” refuse to accept the broad Australian and state laws against discrimination, yet still receive taxpayer funds and support, the time has come to sever such funds from all discriminatory religious schools and any other organisation that chooses to flaut the laws against discrimination.