I understand there has been much discussion among some Alumni over the past week regarding the open letter I co-signed. Further to my correspondence dated Friday 2 November, I would like to take the opportunity to summarise the College’s position regarding the open letter to Members of Parliament.
I acknowledge, as have many other heads of Anglican schools, the discrepancy between saying we do not discriminate and my signing of a letter that seeks to retain highly discriminatory legislation; even if as a short-term measure. The letter has clearly failed in its intent and in so doing has caused much hurt and division. Having read the detrimental impact that this letter has had on some of our community and more broadly, the LGBTQI community, I am deeply sorry for the anguish it has caused.
I support the removal of the current exemptions in the Sex Discrimination Act. While I desire to see a healthy and civilised debate about religious freedom in this country, at the same time, I agree that the present situation where protection for religious freedom is tied to exemptions in the 1984 Sex Discrimination Act is unsatisfactory.
As always, my number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our whole College community. I am therefore deeply concerned that the continued assertion that the College discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or relationship status, despite my clear statements to the contrary, has the potential to significantly negatively impact our current students, parents and staff.
The focus for me as it has always been, is ensuring that the College continues to be a Christ-centred community that is welcoming and safe for all members.
I am troubled and saddened to know that this last week has been distressing for many people. I am committed to restoring any relationships that have been negatively impacted during this time and welcome further contact by members of the community.
Dr Scott Marsh