Words: Steve Brown
One of Australia’s most senior Catholics has suggested LGBT teachers would be more acceptable at religious schools if they lived far away.
During an urgent Senate inquiry ahead of federal government plans to stop schools expelling LGBT pupils, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli suggested that a gay teacher wouldn’t be fired depending on how visible their relationship was.
He said: “Someone [who] lives in one part of Melbourne up in the north, and they might be a maths teacher in a southern part of Melbourne – there’s no connection in terms of relationships of location and so on.
“They’ve made it known privately to the principal that they’re in a same-sex relationship, but the person themselves is quite willing to speak publicly and act publicly within the school context in accordance with the mission and identity – there would be no question asked there I don’t think.”
He went on to explain that the sexual orientation of their staff is not an issue at schools but they were concerned about “the public nature of what someone might say or do in that regard.”
The archbishop continued: “It’s not just a matter of one’s attribute – it’s what one does with it that makes a difference.”