QLD Christian school’s contract of enrolment higlights human rights risks of Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill

February 1, 2022

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has condemned Citipointe Christian College’s Contract of Enrolment as blatantly discriminatory, adding that it illustrates the serious human rights risks for LGBTIQ+ children, young people and the broader community if the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 is passed. The Bill is due to return to the Federal Parliament following the release of Joint Parliamentary Committee and Senate inquiries into the legislation due to be released this Friday.

Citipointe Christian College’s Contract of Enrolment, which all parents and guardians of students at the school,were required to sign, insists students denounce homosexuality and agree to specific gender roles, further stating that students who do not adhere to these “fundamental doctrinal precepts” can be excluded from the school.  ALHR LGBTI Co-Chair Georgia Burke said, “The College makes a number of express and implied discriminatory remarks. Notably, the College likens homosexuality and bisexuality to egregious criminal acts, assumes that a person is born with the typical biology of a “man” or a “woman,” and it appears to condemn unwedded parents (regardless of their sexual orientation).”

Queensland’s Anti-Discrimination Act does not permit religious schools to refuse enrolment based on gender identity or sexuality, or discriminate against existing students.

Ms Burke says that the actions of the College are of significant concern in the face of the Morrison Government’s proposed Religious Discrimination Bill, “If passed, the Bill will further protect the type of harmful discrimination displayed by the College at the expense of many other other human rights. It will  legally permit a sweeping range of discrimination against every Australian based on religious belief while overriding their other existing state, territory and federal anti-discrimination protections in ways that are completely unprecedented in Australian legal history.”

ALHR President Kerry Weste says, “The  Religious Discrimination Bill is inconsistent with Australia’s international human rights law obligations because it disproportionately privileges religious-based discrimination over the rights of others to be free from discrimination and elevates religious discrimination to a position of priority above other fundamental human rights. In contrast, international human rights law is clear: there is no hierarchy of rights.” 

“ALHR calls on Members of Parliament to reject the Bill in its entirety  when it is reintroduced to the Parliament. Australia is the only Western democracy without a federal Human Rights Act or Bill of Rights. The human right to freedom of religion would best be protected by a Federal Human Rights Act that protects the rights of everyone in Australia so that we can all live in dignity, with equality, and free from harmful discrimination.”

Contact Matt Mitchell on 0431 980 365 or media@alhr.org.au

Read a copy of ALHR’s media release on the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 here

Read a copy of ALHR’s submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee