After a bruising legal process, Ballarat Christian College has settled its case with a former teacher who argued that the school's teachings on same-sex marriage discriminated against her. In 2017 after the same-sex marriage survey, the school updated its Statement of Faith to explicitly refer to its position on marriage. The teacher made a formal objection about the Statement of Faith and then met with the chaplain and school leadership on the issue.
The school requested that she still support and teach in accordance with the school's beliefs, while being free to hold different personal views. The teacher was reportedly not prepared to do so.
As part of the settlement, the teacher will receive compensation for loss of income, damages and a positive employment reference from the school. The school does not have to alter its Statement of Faith or change its teachings - which is a significant win.
The teacher was supported by Equality Australia and Clayton Utz on a pro bono basis. As the ACL's Dan Flynn noted in The Australian this evening: "The sad reality for this school is that it took steadfast determination not to buckle under the pressure of a well-resourced legal attack... To the school's credit, under great duress, they stood by their principles."
Ballarat Christian College Principal, Mr Ken Nuridin said the following in The Australian: "Our College provides a high quality Christian education in accordance with our beliefs." "The claim has taken an enormous cost in time and resources already - detracting from the ability of a small school like ours to focus on what is important, the education of our students." A statement of 'mutual regret' will be released in due course.
Please keep both parties and CSA (their political representatives) in your prayers tonight.