International Christian School in Sha Tin has banned gay teachers, forcing staff to sign a ‘morality contract’ and a form which suggests sinners will be cast out like ‘heathens’.
The story was reported by Simon Parry in the China Daily, after an expatriate art teacher asked the school to clarify its stance. She received the following response from Admin & Recruitment Co-ordinator Sandy Burnett…
The applicant told China Daily, “It saddens me to think they can get away with this when they should be teaching their students tolerance. If they want to say you can’t live with your partner that’s one thing but to say you can’t be gay is unacceptable… It’s something people can’t control. It’s like saying you can’t be black… What happens if there is a gay child at their school?”
Page four of the school’s teacher application form (available online) insists that applicants must be ‘above reproach‘ in the area of sexual orientation. It then quotes Matthew 18:15-19, which suggests those who violate the policy will be cast out “like a heathen and a tax collector“.
In January, the Ming Pao confirmed that the principal had written to all staff members forbidding them to have gay sex or show gender non-conforming behaviour, even in private, or risk the sack. The ‘Standards of Biblical Ethics and Integrity’ agreement included a section on ‘unethical sexualities’, which listed bestiality alongside homosexuality.
In most developed countries, such discriminatory policies would be an affront to equal opportunity laws. However, Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunities Commission‘s rules deal only with disability, gender, ethnicity and family status discrimination. The city’s flimsy ‘Code of Practice‘ legislation for employers advises against homophobic recruitment practices, but it remains only a voluntary code. Employers in Hong Kong may still hire and fire workers simply because of who they love or choose to sleep with.
International Christian School refused to comment when contacted this morning. When asked whether they have policies on gay students, their Communications Officer abruptly ended the call.
Hong Kong claims to be a ‘world city’ where diversity is celebrated and tolerance reigns, whilst International Christian School claims to foster students to be ‘better able to understand themselves, respect others‘. Does this homophobic policy exemplify Hong Kong’s attitudes? In some cases, yes – but overall, most people now support equal marriage and gay rights, as revealed by an HKU poll this year. The school may hire/fire whomever it wishes, but not if it’s based on something beyond someone’s control – like ethnicity, disability or sexuality.
As for Christianity, the school’s policy is not even in line with the teachings of love and acceptance, as put forward by Palestinian carpenter and philosopher Jesus Christ in the best-seller ‘The Bible‘. Even Pope Francis stated ‘who am I to judge?’ when challenged on gay marriage last year.
Readers may share their thoughts with International Christian School’s Principal John Nelson:
Shek Mun Campus,
Elementary School, Secondary School & Central Administration Offices
International Christian School
1 On Muk Lane, Shek Mun, Sha Tin, N.T.
Readers can also lobby the Equal Opportunities Commission, who are currently powerless to act. Contact Dr York Chow Yat-ngok:
Call: 2511-8211 or [email protected]
Equal Opportunities Commission,
19/F., CityPlaza Three,
14 Taikoo Wan Road, Taikoo Shing.
Hong Kong’s LGBT community…
- Full Lowdown: Thousands of Bigoted Christian Homophobes Gather for Demo.
- HSBC Lit in LGBT Rainbow Colours Tonight.
- Judges Approve Transsexual Marriage as LGBT Event Planned for Weekend.
- LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rally, 2012.
- Shots from HK’s Gay Pride Parade, 2012.
- Shots from HK’s Gay Pride Parade, 2013.