Gay parents accuse school of enrolment snub


A same-sex couple in Broken Hill, in far western New South Wales, say they are shocked their daughter has been rejected from a Catholic primary school because of their relationship.

The couple, who do not want to be named, enrolled their daughter into kindergarten at Sacred Heart Primary School for 2012 but say their application was recently rejected.

One of the mothers says the principal phoned her and said the women's relationship and living situation was the reason the application had been turned down.

The women say they welcomed the religious teachings of the school, which would allow their daughter to be "open-minded" to religious beliefs and free to form her own views.

One of the women, who was christened Catholic, says her daughter wanted to attend the same school as her best friend.

The ABC contacted both the school and the Catholic Schools Office but both declined to comment on the decision.

Topics: gays-and-lesbians, community-and-society, education, primary-schools, catholic, broken-hill-2880

First posted

Comments (97)

Comments for this story are closed.

  • ABC (Moderator):

    13 Dec 2011 1:08:34pm

    Should schools be allowed to exclude students based on the sexual orientation of their parents?

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    • George:

      13 Dec 2011 1:22:41pm

      Yes the school should be able to. Besides, what kind of parent would send their kids to a school where they will be taught that their parent's lifestyle is "wrong"? I think they have done this as a stunt knowing that the school will reject the application.

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      • rob1966:

        13 Dec 2011 2:04:42pm

        So a school should also be able to refuse the application of a child because one of their parents is African American?

        A school should be able to refuse the application for a child because one of the parents is a Muslim?

        A school should be able to refuse the application for a child because one of the parents is a red head?

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        • Patrich:

          13 Dec 2011 2:43:44pm

          If it is a PRIVATE school then yes. A STATE school or PUBLIC school is a different matter. Or, put it another way; imagine a practicing Jew trying to enroll at a Muslim school.

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        • geoff:

          13 Dec 2011 2:48:18pm

          Try sending them to a muslim school see what happens there.

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        • Arthur:

          13 Dec 2011 2:48:39pm

          The school teaches that the girls' parents are evil sinners who will go to hell - even though God still loves them and hopes they can be cured of their homosexual affliction.

          This is not the case with your other examples.

          Surely one of the mothers was raised a catholic and knows how backward thinking and hypocritically bigoted some of the catholic church teaching is.

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        • acker:

          13 Dec 2011 2:51:42pm

          The school clearly states it is Catholic - like Muslim schools clearly state they are Muslim and Jewish schools clearly state they are Jewish

          They are private schools and have the right to intake students who reflect their religious values and refuse those who don't

          If the gay parents of this child wanted to send them to a non-religious schools why didn't they choose one of the many public ones in Broken Hill - this is gay rights testing there considerable media power with outlets like the ABC

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      • Adam:

        13 Dec 2011 2:11:47pm

        Agree. Christianity, and catholicism in particular, is incompatible with homosexuality. Of course that is wrong and based on the very fallible bible but it is their belief all the same. I don't have a religious bone in my body and think it's all garbage but I don't seek to shut the religion down. Only through more education will people realise the earth wasn't made in six days, not stupid stunts like this.

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        • Shannon:

          13 Dec 2011 2:38:29pm

          Christianity is not incompatible with homosexuality. Some Christians condemn homosexuality, but certainly not all. Many ordained Christian ministers are GLBT. Many traditions within Christianity celebrate and welcome glbt people. Roman Catholicism, as an institution, however, is not one of them.

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        • Me:

          13 Dec 2011 2:39:46pm

          Sorry, your understanding of the Catholic view on this is sorely lacking.

          Speaking as an atheist and ex-Catholic, I actually took the time to find out WHAT issue Catholicism (which is VERY different to "Christianity") had with gay couples.

          Their logic goes like this:

          - Any sexual act performed for lustful purposes (ie: without a chance for procreation, excluding natural bodily cycles) is sinful.
          - Homosexual acts are therefore intrinsically sinful as there is never a chance for procreation to occur
          - This is the exact same logic that applies to using condoms: both are seen as equally lustful and sinful

          So, following the logic, if a set of parents went and declared they only have sex while using condoms, or engage in a swingers lifestyle, and actively promote it, they would also have their child denied entry.

          The logic works, as much as you might not agree with their basis, it is logical and consistent.

          The Catholic objection is not so much on "a six-day Earth bible" but self-control grounds.

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      • JS:

        13 Dec 2011 3:01:51pm

        I went to a Private Catholic High School and I agree that these schools should be able to select whomever they damn well want, but, as for them teaching that the gay parents lifestyle is wrong, I never once heard anything about a gay lifestyle being not right. The whole gay thing was only touched on slightly in PDHPE which had no religious bearing in it at all. These parents have every right to question the rejection of their application, even if it is only a publicity stunt, the issue hear is that they are fighting for equal human rights and should not have been discriminated again simply on their sexual orientation.

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    • Tom:

      13 Dec 2011 1:35:57pm

      Of course not! It shouldn't make a difference if the parents are gay, Jewish, Muslim, Black, disabled, female, or anything else other than white Anglo-Saxon male. The same goes for the student, applicants for jobs, etc.

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      • not just one of the sheep:

        13 Dec 2011 1:57:16pm

        Every other of the minority groups you named is welcome in catholic schools Trev, but homosexuality flies in the face of core beliefs, and no religion should have be obligated to give credibility to, or even accommodate such a contrary lifestyle.

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        • CN:

          13 Dec 2011 2:21:53pm

          Wait, homosexuality "flies in the face of core beliefs" but worshipping a different God doesn't? Being beholden to a different deity and not being baptised into the Church is A-OK, but being gay isn't?

          This logic is not like our Earth logic.

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        • Me:

          13 Dec 2011 2:41:23pm

          Being a Muslim admitted to the school then refusing to take part in the religious education side, or actively promoting Islam and saying Catholicism is wrong would see you expelled.

          That is to say: if you want to join a private Catholic school and actively work against the Catholic teachings, you're not welcome.

          Fairly logical.

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        • Caite:

          13 Dec 2011 2:48:04pm

          Yup. That's the beauty of the catholic education system. *eyerolls*

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        • SmL:

          13 Dec 2011 3:06:47pm

          Actually, private schools are allowed to give preference to their own religion first. I went to a Catholic school and often heard stories of people baptising their children to increase their changes of enrolment. We had lots of kids who were not religious and other denominations of Christians but none from other religions.

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        • rob1966:

          13 Dec 2011 2:27:45pm

          Except it is not the child that is homosexual, but their parents.

          So the school (and by extension the Catholic Church) is punishing a child for the "sins" of their parents.

          Such loving and accepting people those Catholics.

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        • lilith:

          13 Dec 2011 2:39:28pm

          It is not a contrary lifestyle.

          The fact is there is no credible basis for discrimination against homosexuals.

          People should not have the right to abuse and discriminate against others on the basis of a totally unfounded fairytale. So what if the bible says discrimination is OK. If we have a group who believes this and cannot adapt to modern society and the equality we have developed, then they should be considered a cult and in need of intervention.

          If the same religion says the bible tells them it is OK to exclude people with dark skin colour would you still think that was OK? If the bible says women are inferior and should not be allowed to be educated, would it be OK for them to discriminate on the basis that the child has a sister who is in school.

          You cannot allow discrimination on the basis of religion. Religion has no proof of its claims and can say absolutely anything, set any rule it wants. You may find the above examples absurd, but if you are not introspective about your beliefs and blindly follow what a book tells you, then those examples are very apt.

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    • John R:

      13 Dec 2011 1:40:13pm

      Private schools should be allowed to. Public schools should not be. Pretty simple really.

      If people want the particular environment that a church school provides, they need to take it all, not just part of it.

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    • CN:

      13 Dec 2011 2:39:46pm

      If they get a cent of public money; no. Absolutely not.

      If they don't get any public money, then I don't care. That said, if the school allows the child of any non-Catholic, or any non-Catholic, to attend, then they'd be demonstrating some pretty base hypocrisy.

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    • MD:

      13 Dec 2011 2:50:11pm

      If it's a private school, Catholic or otherwise, yes. But if it's a systemic Catholic school, predominantly taxpayer-funded, and quite likely to already be educating kids of other faiths and kids with parents convicted or incarcerated, then the decision is discriminatory and out of step with the obligations that taking taxpayer funding ought to impose.

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    • Joe:

      13 Dec 2011 2:52:40pm

      Yes definitely! It is only logical that schools should be able to discriminate. A huge and profitable private sector industry has lready developed based on the ability to discriminate on the basis of the parent's ability to pay expensive fees. Why should discrimination based on compliance with the Catholic dogma be any different?

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  • Trev:

    13 Dec 2011 1:15:02pm

    All taxpayer funding should be removed from said school. Actually while you are at it cut the tax breaks for all the hatred filled religious organisations out there.

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    • John R:

      13 Dec 2011 1:51:40pm

      Why don't we just let different groups do their thing, and not go with this hated-filled "cut the funding" rhetoric? Catholic schools will teach Catholic views, and Islamic schools Islamic ideas etc. It's to be bigoted to deny religions their views. The funding simply reflects the saving to the public education system from private educators, so the simple solution is just not to send your children to these schools if you don't agree with their philosophy!

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      • CN:

        13 Dec 2011 2:27:53pm

        Because as long as they intend to play with taxpayer dollars, they have to play by the same rules as everyone else playing with taxpayer dollars.

        Holding them to the same standard as everyone else isn't "bigotry", and financially penalising institutions who refuse to meet the standard is not "hate-filled".

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      • genfie:

        13 Dec 2011 2:37:24pm

        "Why don't we just let different groups do their thing, and not go with this hated-filled "cut the funding" rhetoric"

        Because it's a private shcool that charges extra for the privilege of teaching students from a particular ideological position. That's perfectly legal but why should taxpayers support them when this money could go to public schools that need it? If they want public money they should conform to public standards. And arbitrarily denying a 5 year old education because of her parents' sex life is against our social norms.

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  • Robbo:

    13 Dec 2011 1:17:35pm

    Catholicism, working at creating more human misery each day for nearly two millenium. That kind of consistancy is hard not to admire.

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  • Ballarat Man:

    13 Dec 2011 1:18:09pm

    Its none of their business.
    Christianity and bigotry are one and the same - I was brought up a catholic and wont have a bar of it again - ever.

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  • Jim:

    13 Dec 2011 1:20:58pm

    No - they shouldn't exclude at all and in my home State of Tas, this action by a Catholic school would be illegal. I am gay and was bought up in the Catholic education system in Tasmania - no problems there at all and I didn't have to hide.
    The Anti-Discrimination Act in Tassie covers of on these aspects so everyone is protected even though the Gay and Lesbian lobby group down there won't acknowledge this.

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  • JohnMenz:

    13 Dec 2011 1:22:48pm

    Not while they receive brass razoo of public money.

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    • Max:

      13 Dec 2011 1:52:42pm

      spot on. taxpayer supported bigotry at work

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  • Dan:

    13 Dec 2011 1:23:09pm

    While systemic schools should be allowed to decide who they teach, the fact they would exercise this discretion in such a bigotted way is disappointing.

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  • A Theist:

    13 Dec 2011 1:24:27pm

    So will schools discriminate on the basis that the parents are open about their relationship or will they also discriminate against the children of parents who are, say, prominent politicians, and who are not so open?

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  • Bobster:

    13 Dec 2011 1:27:13pm

    Well if religions can't reject on the basis of their religion, isn't that discrimination against them?

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    • CN:

      13 Dec 2011 2:34:23pm

      If they turned away Muslim children on the grounds of having Muslim parents, or Protestant children on the grounds of having Protestant parents (another heresy), or Jewish children on the grounds of having Jewish parents, then you might have a point.

      But Catholic schools don't do that; they accept the children of, to put it bluntly, heretics and infidels. This is just plain old bigotry.

      And as I said in another comment, they shouldn't be allowed to use secular taxpayer dollars to enforce their religious beliefs.

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    • ChrisB:

      13 Dec 2011 3:11:23pm

      Yep, we would discriminating against them, by not respecting their desire to discriminate.

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  • Keiron:

    13 Dec 2011 1:27:14pm

    Of course not - just another example of nasty, narrow-minded and hypocritical christians. Though why anyone would want to send their child to that sort of school is beyond me.

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  • notbrainwashed:

    13 Dec 2011 1:31:09pm

    The question is: Is the "Catholic" school in question receiving any (taxpayer) government funding? If yes, then they should absolutely NOT be allowed to discriminate. You can choose to believe whatever your cult or "religion" indoctrinates you to believe. Whether you or your organisation can act upon all those beliefs in a secular society is another point entirely. The other question is: why would this couple want to send their child to a school that practices, and presumably teaches, such ignorant bigotry anyway?

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  • Stuffy:

    13 Dec 2011 1:33:01pm

    It says in the text of the story that the parents "welcomed the religious teachings of the school, which would allow their daughter to be "open-minded" to religious beliefs and free to form her own views." If that is the case then as a Catholic school, they have chosen pretty badly. It is all or nothing with Catholicism, you can't pick and choose which bits you like, like some religious smorgasbord. Unfortunately for the parents, they fall on the side which is regarded as sinful by Catholics.

    Surely they would at least have an inkling of this when they applied?

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  • Ray Canberra:

    13 Dec 2011 1:33:47pm

    The school here is being entirely appropriate. How can two people who clearly lead such non-catholic lifestyles expect a catholic school to welcome them into the fold. That would be tantamount to approving of the lifestyle.

    Good on Sacred Heart School for showing some principles.

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    • rob1966:

      13 Dec 2011 2:07:29pm

      Not sure about the school showing some principles.

      But they've certainly highlighted the bigotry and discrimination that lies at the heart of their religion.

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      • Devil's Advocate:

        13 Dec 2011 2:48:32pm

        They are "showing some principles" just not principles that most of us believe in.

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    • The Pav:

      13 Dec 2011 2:13:28pm

      I would be willing to bet the principles you are so keen to support doesn't stop the school from accepting Federal funding yet they want to ignore the law.

      Besides the child has no control over his/her parents so shouldn't this be about the good of the child.

      Maybe it is. They realise that getting a Catholic education is bad for the child.

      All I can say is thank good it's not a nother poor soul condemned to Catholic Bigotry & haterd.

      Yet again the Catholic Church proves it is not a Christian organisation

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      • Gregh:

        13 Dec 2011 3:04:46pm

        The law says religious schools can give admissions based on their own criteria and federal or state anti discrimination laws do not apply to them.

        So what the Catholic school did here is absolutely LEGAL.

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    • genfie:

      13 Dec 2011 2:40:31pm

      Sure. And while they're at it, I think it's about time they implemented a questionnaire for all potential students so they can outline, in detail, their parents' sex lives. And any student whose parent has ever had sex out of wedlock, committed adultery, used contraception, coveted their neighbour's goods and/or taken the Lord's name in vain should be arbitrary excluded. Forever!

      What a pile of rot.

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  • plose:

    13 Dec 2011 1:34:15pm

    Not a big shock that the school rejected the daughter. The school is a Catholic school. Not big on open mindedness and tolerance of others different to them. The two mothers should have known that they would be rejected.

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  • MickFly:

    13 Dec 2011 1:36:21pm

    Sadly not suprising realy.

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  • Paladin:

    13 Dec 2011 1:37:23pm

    Are they serious? How could they possibly think that a school run by the Church would actually be ok with their domestic arrangements, given they fundamentally stand at odds with Church teaching. And why, in any case, would they want to send this child to a school that views same-sex relationships in this manner.

    Sounds like a deliberate provocation, either to give the Greens and the Labor Left something to beat those with a traditional view of marriage up with, or in order to set in chain events for legal action with subsequent damages claim. Take your pick, both appalling motivations.

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    • Clytie Siddall:

      13 Dec 2011 3:17:28pm

      Remember the bit where they say they enrolled their child in this school because she wanted to be with her best friend? My younger daughter at age 5 also wanted to go to our local Catholic primary school because _her_ best friend from kindy was going there.

      I couldn't afford it at the time, and thought she might get over it while at the state junior primary school (which was excellent and her siblings had attended it). Three years later, when my financial position had improved somewhat, she still really, really wanted to go to the Catholic school and be with her friend. So I gave in and paid the extra. (She did well there, although she found the dogma illogical.)

      So don't underestimate the motivation provided by a determined child, especially in a country community where kids from "different" families may have few choices for friends.

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    • GregT:

      13 Dec 2011 3:30:13pm

      The Christianity I know places an emphasis on love, tolerance, and a mutual commitment to building dignity and respect for all God's children. And while that may not be the same Christianity others have learned, the real outrage would be in assuming a Catholic school to be discriminatory on the basis of their Catholicism, without going the further step and making a good-faith enquiry.

      This religious school has not showered its faith with glory; but they are bigoted AND religious, not bigoted BECAUSE they are religious.

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  • Toot:

    13 Dec 2011 1:37:47pm

    Absolutely not - what does a parent's sexual orientation have to do with the child or the school? Or anyone else for that matter!

    When I enrolled my kids at school I wasn't asked my preference for who I shag - why should anyone be asked that?

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    • Arthur:

      13 Dec 2011 3:00:33pm

      I wasn't asked either. Lucky because I don't think the principal knew about me and his wife.

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  • Raymond:

    13 Dec 2011 1:41:16pm

    Of course they should. Particularly if it conflicts with their religious views, not that the Catholic church can claim the moral high ground given their conduct of recent years. State schools are a different matter, however

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  • Marc B:

    13 Dec 2011 1:41:52pm

    The ABC Moderator asks: "Should schools be allowed to exclude students based on the sexual orientation of their parents?"

    The answer to this question is the same as for "Should schools be allowed to exclude students based on the colour of their parents skin?"

    A ridiculous question for the 21st century. Please, ABC, desist with trying to compete with tabloid trash!

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  • Amy:

    13 Dec 2011 1:44:38pm

    This is another outrageous example of the double standards inherent in exceptions made to discrimination laws for Christian organisations. No organisation should be able to discriminate on such a basis whether Christian, secular or any other faith. I can't see the point in saying "Its ok for me to discriminate because I believe in God."
    I went to a baptist school in the northern suburbs of Perth and teachers were "asked to leave" on the basis of their sexuality. So much for an all-loving God.

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  • PT:

    13 Dec 2011 1:46:28pm

    I would say every religious school would reject their application. There are many government schools they could use. This is just a stunt by the parents for some publicity and screen time.

    Maybe 60 minutes will buy the story.

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  • Shan:

    13 Dec 2011 1:46:31pm

    I think the question should actually be "Should Catholic schools be allowed to exclude students based on the sexual orientation of their parents?", as is the case here. It would be interesting to learn more about the school's justification for rejecting the enrollment application.

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  • Public dollar:

    13 Dec 2011 1:52:43pm

    If religious schools wish to claim exemptions from community standards about non-discrimination, they must be open and transparent in their processes. School policies should be clear about the existence of such discriminatory policies rather than applying it on a more ad hoc basis. AND THEN THE RUB: those that wish to claim such actions as legitimate should not be entitled to access public money if it will not be put to the benefit of ALL of the community that pay taxes.

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  • Danoman72:

    13 Dec 2011 1:54:36pm

    Yes I do believe the school has the right to exclude students fo whatever reason. I disagree with their decision to do so but after all it is a catholic school & the parents concerned are lesbian which goes against church dogma. In relation to the subject of gay parents & gay relationships in general ask yourself this question WWJD? (What would Jesus do?) I believe that Jesus' main concern during his time on this earth was that we stop hating & start LOVING each other regardless of who was involved in the loving. If we looked at each other through loving eyes rather than eyes tainted by hate or a judgemental attitude we'd be alot happier.

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  • Simon:

    13 Dec 2011 1:54:51pm

    yes, school should be allowed to refuse applications from any families who do not match the school values. this is a free country that have both secular public schools and religious schools, you shoose what suits you.

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  • Gay Parent:

    13 Dec 2011 1:58:43pm

    As a man in a same sex relationship with our own childeren I am appalled at ABC to even treat this as a commention discussion panel question.

    'Should gay parents be discriminated against?'

    The answer is obviously no and if you had inserted a race instead of sexuality it would not even be up for discussion.

    I'll be taking a screenshot of this comment and uploading it onto twitter so if this comment doesn't get through moderation it'll at least be up on twitter.

    Appalling ABC shame on you!

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  • Greg:

    13 Dec 2011 2:00:35pm

    It's disappointing that you've even asked the question. How is the child responsible for the actions of the parents? In placing a misguided sense of its own priorities ahead of its duty to the child, this school is punishing the innocent. It's a disgrace.

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  • socrates:

    13 Dec 2011 2:06:20pm

    Well done by the Catholic Primary School to uphold and support good moral values.

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  • Alister:

    13 Dec 2011 2:06:30pm

    If you don't like it, don't be Catholic.

    If I apply to join a women's only gym, and get turned down due to my gender, do I cry discrimination? No.

    Is this the only school in town? No. The child is not being denied an education.

    As Stuffy pointed out: Its all-or-nothing with Catholicism. Things are very clearly defined, and easily accessible. A bare minimum of research on the part of the parents would have brought this up right from the outset.

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    • ChrisB:

      13 Dec 2011 3:12:39pm

      Yours and my taxes don't fund any women's gyms that I know of.

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  • Stephen Praibin:

    13 Dec 2011 2:08:15pm

    Now, after the euphoria of the Labor Conference, we see the reality of same sex couples as it affects their children. Religious schools of all religions are exempt from the Anti Discrimation Act and in the case of Catholic schools the Pope has already issued his edict which is binding world wide. We know what that is.

    This could have been handled better by the couple, by seeking a ruling prior to submitting an application that would have to be rejected under church rules. The girls are the ones who will suffer in this, and the parents should have done a better job of protecting them.

    They will now be ostracised even if they go to a public school, as their parents will be public figures of controversy.

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    • Neil:

      13 Dec 2011 2:34:35pm

      I dont think same sex couple were invented at the Labor Conference. Indeed so far no changes to any laws or attitudes apart from some well meaning motions.

      I doubt this will have much impact on the child in a public schooll but couldnt the Catholic school have seen this as a chance to "convert" the child or even the parents?

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  • Peter1:

    13 Dec 2011 2:10:46pm

    The two ladies in question would have quite aware of what the outcome would be long before they decided to bung it on Pollies are right into it so "Let's stir the pot ",what disgusts me is the use of children to further thier cause,

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  • colin:

    13 Dec 2011 2:11:23pm

    Let's say the school accepted the pupil . She then later goes home and tells her 'parents' that she has been taught that homosexuality is sinful etc. Would the parents then be contacting the school ( or more likely - media) claiming discrimination or bullying of the child?

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  • Luke Mansillo:

    13 Dec 2011 2:14:50pm

    No, does anyone remember the anti-discrimination legislation of 1973?

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  • Me:

    13 Dec 2011 2:19:19pm

    Surprising that so many people are passing judgement before the facts are established.

    So people who don't want their names known are talking about how they applied and were "reject" via an unrecorded and unverifiable "phonecall from principal" saying they were rejected because of their parent's sexuality.


    Maybe they rejected the student due to numbers, and the parents felt it was because if their sexuality, and made THAT the reason and ran - anonymously of course - to the papers.

    At least have the guts to put your name to your public allegations.

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    • MD:

      13 Dec 2011 2:58:30pm

      Instantly confrontational, with any variation or amenable accomodation all but impossible from that point. Way to negotiate.

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    • Simon:

      13 Dec 2011 3:14:50pm

      Oh, please. If the parents provide their names, they as-good-as identify their daughter in the national media. This way, at least they can bring some attention to what they believe to be a discrimination issue (whether or not you choose to interpret it that way for yourself) without automatically scapegoating the daughter.

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  • Jim:

    13 Dec 2011 2:22:57pm

    Given the Parents' claims haven't actually been verified, it's a bit hard to know what really happened.

    Perhaps the principal never actually made that comment, and they missed out for other reasons.

    When applying to our local catholic school that had 60 spots available for kindy, 41 of these were taken up by siblings, leaving 19 spots available. There were around 80 applications for these 19 spots, which obviously left many disappointed families.

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  • Robyn:

    13 Dec 2011 2:24:09pm

    If it were a public school this would be illegal, but because it's a private school they can get away with it (in some states, where private schools can turn down students an any basis). Every school should be able to teach every student, whether or not they have gay parents, especially if it's getting funding from every taxpayer.

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  • Jay:

    13 Dec 2011 2:25:12pm

    Those who claim that the school should be able to self-determine really need to look at the facts: This is a secular country, and the govt. must maintain that status. By funding schools that exclude a student on the basis of parental lifestyle because they deem such to be against core beliefs, the govt. is essentially voiding Australia's secular status. The same goes for the tax breaks that religious organisations enjoy.

    In the interests of religious freedom, I would accept self-funded organisations exercising discretion as it pertains to membership/enrolment. I wouldn't be happy that they would - but only because I feel that such prejudice should rightly be considered outdated and obsolete.

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  • lauraborealis:

    13 Dec 2011 2:32:18pm

    Once upon a time, a Catholic school might have done the same to children of divorced parents or children born out of wedlock, as these things are contrary to the teachings of the church. This would no longer be acceptable as society has accepted these so called "contrary" lifestyles (in the words of "not just one of the sheep", 1.57pm).

    If the government eventually takes the right course of action to help legitimise gay marriage (and the families that develop from these), the churches will eventually follow, in practice if not necessarily in principle.

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  • Mike:

    13 Dec 2011 2:38:40pm

    I find the 'parents' comments a joke and their actions a stunt. I get tired of the homosexual rights advocates on the one hand saying to society - accept in full the differences that our homosexuality brings and give us equal rights. Well a homosexual union doesn't bring children into being of itself, so this is where they say pretend we are not homosexual and let us deny children any hope of being brought up in a household with its biological parents. I don't accept this hypocracy and don't expect any other individual or organisation to accept it either. No doubt the tax paying parents from families where the child lives with a male and female parent will foot the bill for councilling these children will need in later years.

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    • Clytie Siddall:

      13 Dec 2011 3:25:12pm

      Children have been living with gay parents long enough now for thorough research to be conducted and published. The results? Kids do best in a loving family, irrespective of the parents' sexuality.

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  • Brian Mitchell:

    13 Dec 2011 2:45:05pm

    This is why public funding of religious schools has to come to an end, and public resources spent on public education.
    If religious schools wish to practise medieaval bigotry, don't do it on our dime.
    Keep YOUR religion in YOUR home and YOUR church and YOUR school but out of OUR government and OUR homes and OUR schools.

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  • rumpole2:

    13 Dec 2011 2:49:26pm

    Private schools are businesses and have a right to refuse to serve "customers" as they see fit, regardless of what people think of their decisions.

    I'm sure a court case will probably ensue though, the parents will get some compensation and take their children elsewhere.

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  • spark:

    13 Dec 2011 2:50:38pm

    How is this any different from kids in Public School having to put up with RE classes? Its ok for the catholics to be everywhere but not those homosexuals. Bigots!

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  • Barney Simpson:

    13 Dec 2011 2:52:21pm

    Surely this is the schools right to include, or not, who it wants and the principles they bring with them. And I suppose that is judgemental but so be it. Toughen up Princess(es).

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  • Scott:

    13 Dec 2011 2:52:22pm

    Odd call when you consider that St Mary MacKillop College in Canberra appointed a Muslim as school captain. I guess that St Mary Mackillop College is much more tollerant and understanding of students from non-Catholic backgrounds than the school at Broken Hill.

    Same cult. Different results.

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  • leone:

    13 Dec 2011 2:55:05pm

    Not all Catholic schools are like this. Our local school says that no child will be denied a Catholic education and they adhere to that ,even making fee deductions or waiving fees altogether if familes are having financial problems. They have also employed teachers who happen to be gay or lesbian, selection of staff is based on merit, not sexuality.

    The local' Christian school', on the other hand, fired a staff member because she was going through a divorce and insists that parents explain how they will pay school fees before their kids are accepted.

    Bigots are found in all religions, let's not assume that all Catholics are like those running this school

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  • The Voice:

    13 Dec 2011 2:59:20pm

    This school is not upholding Catholic values, they're discriminating against an innocent child. A good percentage of children in Catholic schools these days are not even Catholics - why are Catholic schools not refusing them enrolment? Since, in the Catholic view, being un-baptised is also against the tennents of their faith? However, that a Catholic school would discriminate against an innocent child is no surprise, they do it all the time. They discriminate against children with disabilities and gifted children alike.

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  • RU-Serious:

    13 Dec 2011 3:09:00pm

    So you'd go to Iran and preach athiesm and expect to be treated fairly?

    Go to a steakhouse and demand vegatarian food?

    Go to a Mosque and bring some pork pasties?

    Come on people...... THINK !!!!!

    So many minorites so keen to put themselves on the cross... no pun intended....

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  • Thorne:

    13 Dec 2011 3:12:30pm

    Should a selective school have the right to be selective? Yes

    Where do you draw the line at where selectiveness is allowed?
    If Gay are allowed, what about Wiccans? Satanists? Nudists? (that would make for interesting parent teacher nights)

    Whats the difference between a catholic school being forced to take the children of gays and the catholic church being forced to perform gay marriages?

    I'm fully supportive of gay marriage and I'm fully supportive of the church's right to refuse to have anything to do with them.

    You should be able to things which don't affect anyone else. Gay marriage, yes. Forcing people who hate what you believe, to accept you with open arms, no.

    These women clearly applied solely for the purpose of getting knocked back so they could scream discrimination to the media.

    Maybe the school knocked them back because their child wasn't smart enough. The parents clearly weren't smart enough to work it out.

    You should be able to have men only clubs for men, women only clubs for women and catholic schools for catholics.

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  • Cate:

    13 Dec 2011 3:17:07pm

    My children attend a Catholic school in Brisbane and there are children at our school with gay parents. No one cares, it's none of our business. There are many children who attend Catholic schools who are neither Catholic, nor even Christian in their beliefs. In fact, one of the school captains at my son's school a couple of years ago was a Muslim student, a wonderful young man. So to exclude a child due to the parents sexuality, or because they're not adhering to the Catholic dogma is nothing short of discrimination and small-minded bigotry. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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  • Paula:

    13 Dec 2011 3:23:02pm

    Correct me if I am wrong, but every Catholic (and others perhaps, I don't know) school I know relies on taxpayer funding. That makes them public schools in my eye. If they want to discriminate, then they need to hand back the public dollars they rely on. Simple.

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  • Amy R:

    13 Dec 2011 3:23:19pm

    Yes, a catholic school should be able to refuse the admission of children who's family don't adhere to its beliefs. Telling Christians to adhere to "our" rules is EXACTLY the same kind of rubbish as Christians telling us to adhere to theirs.

    Comparing this decision to one of race or the colour of someone's hair is plain stupid. If we are to respect Muslims, Jews, Buddists whatever, then we must respect Christians too. What would we say if a non-religious kid wanted to go to a Muslim school to be with her friend but then not wear a head scarf???

    By the way I am not Christian. I am someone who believes we all have a right to make choices - and that we should all respect each others beliefs, christian or otherwise. I would understand if a catholic school did not want my kids attending because I was not catholic, or if I lived "in sin" with a man etc.

    Being stupid and close-minded is not a crime - although the dropping attendance level of church is the consequence of such a view. Such is life.

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  • Jamie:

    13 Dec 2011 3:27:50pm

    I an not religious, but was educated from K-12 in Catholic schools. My parents, also non-religious, did this so I could receive a quality education. In high school, there were two religious services each year, for the start and end of the year. They were non-denominational.

    I was obliged to study religion up until year 11, and in that year I was taught by a Muslim woman, and the syllabus gave little time to particular religions but concentrated on spirituality and that sort of thing. I didn't mind it - there was no 'forcing' of Catholicism on me, and in fact I can't remember ever being taught specifically about Christianity at all. I'm no more Catholic after 13 years of Catholic school than I ever have been.

    Now that I have a baby of my own, I've had a think about schooling, and I wouldn't hesitate to put him into Catholic schooling when he's old enough. Not because I want him to be Catholic, but because I want him to have access to quality education.

    Selective schools are just that - they are free to choose who they educate. Unlike state schools, they are not obliged to accept every child who applies. So yes, schools should be allowed to exclude students for whatever reason they choose. It may not be 'fair', but that's life - it will prepare children for the realities of surviving in the workforce when they grow up.

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  • Carl:

    13 Dec 2011 3:32:46pm

    Would not be surprised if this was done by parents on purpose to have some thing to spruke to the media re homophobic Church.

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  • the doc:

    13 Dec 2011 3:33:13pm

    Do not be shocked, the same applies to anyone living in lifestyle in direct conflict to Catholic teaching. Get over it.

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  • Emma:

    13 Dec 2011 3:34:04pm

    I agree with the school. I wouldn't try to enrol my children into an Islamic school. That would be ridiculous. THey have freedom to practise their religion without being harassed by me as a parent kicking up a stink because I didn't want my children to comply with their codes but wanted them in their Islamic school. It's plain dumb. Come on mums, sounds like you need a Dad to breathe some common sense into the situation.

    By the way, my parents applied to enrol me in a Catholic school and were rejected because we're not Catholic. We didn't go around ringing up the papers, crying discrimination, looking shocked and outraged.

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  • Ralph:

    13 Dec 2011 3:34:40pm

    I was denied access to a nightclub because the bouncers didn't like my shirt. Can I get a story on ABC online too?

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