A Christian school in Hong Kong’s policy of excluding gay staff has drawn criticism from the territory’s Anglican Church but the government’s Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment on the Ground of Sexual Orientation is only voluntary so the school can legally discriminate.
The International Christian School in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, has a policy of refusing to hire anyone who is a relationship that is not a heterosexual marriage because it says teachers should be ‘good Christian role models for our students.’
The Hong Kong Government has a Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment on the Ground of Sexual Orientation which states that denying people employment on the basis of their sexual orientation is ‘morally wrong and irrational’ – however the code carries no legal weight and employers in Hong Kong can freely and legally discriminate.
The International Christian School’s policy has come under fire from LGBTI activists who want a proper law banning discrimination against LGBTI people in Hong Kong and also from the territory’s Anglican Church.
The Reverend Peter Douglas Koon, provincial secretary general for the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post that sexuality should not be a bar to employment.
‘We don't support this policy because it is discrimination,’ Koon said, ‘Our Anglican schools would not apply the same rules.’
‘You cannot assume gay people will promote homosexuality. A teacher should be judged on their professionalism. There are doctors and lawyers and people in many professions who are openly gay. If a judge is gay, we cannot say they would not be a good judge.’
A spokesperson for the school said they would not even hire a heterosexual person in an unmarried relationship.