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Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College defends demanding parents sign contract on student gender identity, homosexuality

A mother and teacher at a Christian college in Brisbane who requires parents to sign a contract asserting that students consider their birth gender and homosexuality a “sin” says she is looking for another school for her child to attend.

Citipointe Christian College on Brisbane’s south side sent families a contract last Friday and said parents must sign the contract or cancel their children’s enrollment from the school.

More than 26,000 people signed an online petition asking the college to withdraw its enrollment contract, with organizers saying the school was “using their religious beliefs to openly discriminate against gay and transgender students”.

In an email to parents on Friday, Chief Reverend Brian Mulheran said new clauses in the enrollment contract had been included “to make sure we retain our Christian ethics, which are the foundation of what made the college what it is today.”

The contract states that “the College will enroll the student only on the basis of the sex that corresponds to his biological sex” to maintain compliance with the “Christian spirit requirements” of the College.

The contract states that the college “recognizes a person’s biological sex as recognized at birth and requires practices consistent with that sex”.

Another provision states that the college has the right to “exclude a student from the college” if he does not adhere to “doctrinal principles including those relating to biological sex.”

To keep their children enrolled in school, parents must agree to a set of “religious beliefs” set forth in the “Declaration of Faith” attached to the contract.

Part of the declaration states that “Any form of sexual immorality (including but not limited to: adultery, indecency, homosexual, bisexual, animalistic, incest, child abuse and pornography) is sinful, offensive to God, and destructive to human relationships and society.”

We received no warning of this happening

Mum, who is also a Citipointe teacher and did not wish to be named, said she was “sad that students who struggle or go through their journey to discover who would be enveloped in more of their vocabulary is ‘other’ and unacceptable”.

She said she was “extremely angry” about the timing of releasing the contract because the students started school today.

“I felt trapped in a corner,” she said.

“We, as workers, have not been told that [the contract amendments]. I only found out because I’m a parent.”

Brian Mulheran, principal of City Point Christian College, said the college “does not judge students based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”(ABC News: Steve Cavina)

She said she is now looking for another school for her child because she was not able to sign the amended enrollment contract.

“I have to ask [the child] Now to leave their friends without any mistake [their] King. “We were not warned that this was happening, and we were told to either expect it or you have two weeks to go,” she added.

“I feel like my options are very limited.”

She also said this would have a broader impact on the community in Citipointe.

“It’s going to be divisive in school,” she said. “It’s going to separate people. That’s not my understanding of what the Christian faith is about.”

School community to “fight” the contract

Bree Leitch, a 2018 Citipointe graduate who identifies as bisexual, said she was “beautiful” when her parents received the amended contract on Friday.

She said her brother was studying at school and he was supposed to start 12th grade today.

“I’m worried about what my brother is going to do and how he’s going to get his education and graduate this year, and I really want to do something about it,” said Ms. Leech.

Woman smiling at the camera.
Citipointe Christian College alumni now identify Bree Leitch as bisexual.(Supplied: Berry Leach)

Ms. Leach said she dealt with her bisexuality when she was 12 in Citipointe.

She said, “I remember when I was in school, I always thought, ‘If I was gay, I would never go out’…that would be very difficult. Very scary.”

“And you don’t know what will happen, whether you are fired or not, there was a lot of fear.

Ms Leach said the amended contract was a “horrible thing” but “meaning it’s something we can fight head-on.”

She said, “It’s something that’s there and it’s there, it’s black and white. And we can say ‘that’s not good’…we have a platform on which to build now.”

Ms Leach said she wanted gay students at Citipointe and other schools, to know they weren’t alone.

“You are good and these things they say are not true. Don’t let it change your view of yourself and don’t let it make yourself think you are not worthy. This entire community of people will stand behind you and support you, and we are doing everything we can to change this experience for you.”

The school has “certain freedoms” by law to include clauses

In a statement to the media, the school’s principal, Reverend Brian Mulheran, said the college “does not judge students based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and we will not make a decision on whether to attend college simply on that basis.”

He said the college wants to give parents and students the right to make an “informed choice” about supporting the school’s approach to Christian education.

“The College, through the freedoms afforded to it by law, has defined our common beliefs and practices, so that parents can choose to educate their children in Citipointe and join our faith-based community.”

Mr Mulheran said the school had sought legal advice in amending the contract, and argued that it had “certain freedoms under international law and under Commonwealth and state legislation” which allowed it to include the new clauses.

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