GLOBAL LGBTI activist organisation All Out has launched an online petition against the Australian Government’s renewed funding for the school chaplaincy program.

Earlier this month the government committed to fund the National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP) with almost $250 million out of the budget over the next four years when the current allocation of funding expires at the end of June.

From January 1 2015, the program will replace the broader National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program currently in operation. A significant change under the revised program removes the option for schools to hire a non-religious welfare worker under the scheme.

The program has been widely criticised by advocates inside the LGBTI community and more broadly, with concerns over homophobic practices linked to one of the largest providers of chaplains, Access Ministries.

In February religious educators from Access Ministries reportedly distributed material to students at a Victorian school instructing them to seek counselling for homosexual feelings, condemning masturbation and stating girls who wore revealing clothing were inviting sexual assault.

The incident prompted an investigation by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The Star Observer contacted All Out for further detail on the petition but did not receive a response at the time of writing.

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