A CATHOLIC school has been ordered to accept the daughter of a same-sex couple after the Church intervened.
Acting Bishop for the Wilcannia/Forbes diocese Kevin Manning said he was appalled by a decision taken by the Sacred Heart Primary School at Broken Hill to refuse a girl a kindergarten place on the basis of her parents' relationship.
Bishop Manning told ABC radio the school has now offered the girl a place following his intervention.
He says the refusal came about because of a misunderstanding on the part of the school principal and parish priest as to the church's position on the issue.
The refusal came on the same day that Federal Minister Penny Wong and her partner Sophie Allouache celebrated the birth of their daughter Alexandra.
The case had outraged gay and lesbian groups and prompted calls for intervention by the NSW Government to force the Catholic Education Office to allow the girl’s enrolment at the Broken Hill school.
But in a demonstration of the challenges which same-sex parents and their children still face, the school’s decision to discriminate was not illegal, as churches are exempt from prosecution for breaches of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
One of the mothers told the ABC the principal had phoned her and said the women's relationship and living situation was the reason the application had been turned down.
Trevor Rynne, principal of the Sacred Heart school, yesterday confirmed the girl had been rejected because of her parents' relationship but declined to comment further.
"It's a breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act, there's no question about it. But a religious school is probably exempt from that breach," said Stepan Kerkyasharian, president of the NSW Anti-Discrimination board.
NSW Greens MLC John Kaye described the school’s actions as offensive and indefensible. He said the school received 85 per cent of its funding from the State Government and as such should not be able to discriminate.
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14-12-2011 18:56 #1
Catholic school banned a daughter of same-sex parents from enrolling.
14-12-2011 19:12 #2Senior Member
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- Sep 2011
I can't believe the church is exempt from anti discrimination legislation!!
This poor family, it's not fair that they have to fight to have their daughter in their school of choice....
14-12-2011 19:31 #3
..yep - I'm still baffled that this can happen in this day and age.
This was in my Home town which makes it even worse - quite embarrassed really.
14-12-2011 19:39 #4
i wouldnt want my child to go to that school anymore if they changed their minds to accept her
14-12-2011 20:01 #5
I think it's shameful. The catholic church needs to modernize itself, otherwise it'll see itself without followers - they're already struggling to find priests. I am really glad that bishop spoke out about it - good PR move!
I feel so sad for the little girl who deserves an education no matter who her parents are. It's her right as a human being!
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14-12-2011 20:14 #6
That is disgraceful. When will all this rubbish stop?
14-12-2011 21:09 #7
Catholic school... They are going to teaching catholic education... The child will grow up hearing how gay is wrong as that is the belief of the catholic school.
Why the hell would you put your child in a school if your don't support the teachings!
I have no problem with homosexuality. But let's face it, it's against catholic religion so why the hell would you try to inject yourself into a catholic institution?
And the child would be forever being told 2 different things, gay is fine, gay is a sin. What 6yr old should have to try and intupret that?
14-12-2011 21:19 #8
I went to a catholic school from yr1 to yr10 and homosexuality was never bought into the teaching.
I'd probably not want to send her there after that even if they have given her a place. I'd be unsure how she'd be treated by the staff.
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