Hong Kong Christian school threatens to fire gay and transgender staff

Headmaster asks teachers to promise not to have gay sex or show gender non-conforming behavior, even in private

Hong Kong Christian school threatens to fire gay and transgender staff
24 January 2014

In order to make Christian examples out of its staff both on and off campus, an international school in Hong Kong has asked them to endorse ethical codes that allegedly give it the right to fire or even sue violators.

The International Christian School’s draconian policy against gays and trans peoples is uncovered today (24 Jan) after local newspaper Ming Pao received complaints about the private institute from readers.

Gay Star News understands that LGBTI activists will be protesting outside the school that teaches about 1000 students from kindergarten through to high school with broad-based North American curriculum.

ICS Headmaster John Nelson gave his staff a declaration titled ‘Standards of Biblical Ethics and Integrity’ to sign last year, according to Ming Pao.

In a list of ‘activities and choices that may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of service, and/or legal action,’ there is one bullet point for ‘unethical’ sexualities.

‘Engaging in any form of homosexuality, fornication, transvestitism, bestiality, alternative gender identity, pornographic addiction, or any other sexual behavior that violates biblical purity or the marriage covenant between man and woman,’ it reads.

Gay lawmaker Ray Chan Chi-chuen slams ICS for discriminating against people of different sexual orientations in the name of religion.

He finds it an insult to gays for homosexuality to be listed together with bestiality, and also laments the inability of existing laws to deal with this case.

The Equal Opportunities Commission has been fighting to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, but the government has not even started relevant public consultation.

Trans people are protected – but it is for having the ‘disability’ of gender identity disorder – by the city’s Disability Discrimination Ordinance.

The Education Bureau hasn’t addressed Gay Star News’ question about whether the ethics declaration is permissible, but states that it is in principle against discriminatory policies at schools and will look into the case.

Chong Yiu-kwong, an adjunct professor for law at Shue Yan University, tells Ming Pao it is indeed in the bureau’s power to revoke a mismanaged school’s license.

Chong also says there was once a case in the UK where an expelled gay soldier defeated the Ministry of Defense by arguing it discriminated against his lover’s gender.

Should ICS fire any gay teacher, the teacher may well file gender discrimination litigation in the same way, he notes.

Other local Christian school groups appear to be more accepting of LGBTI staff than ICS, which was founded in 1991 by six missionary agencies and three independent members.

The Catholic Church says its schools do not ask about sexual orientation during job interviews and will not sack anyone for being gay. The Hong Kong Anglican Church also says it stays out of teachers’ ‘personal preferences.’

ICS, which is hiring teachers for Math, Art and English, cannot be immediately reached for comment today.

In order to make Christian examples out of its staff both on and off campus, an international school in Hong Kong has asked them to endorse ethical codes that allegedly give it the right to fire or even sue violators.

The International Christian School’s draconian policy against gays and trans peoples is uncovered today (24 Jan) after local newspaper Ming Pao received complaints about the private institute from readers.

Gay Star News understands that LGBTI activists will be protesting outside the school that teaches about 1000 students from kindergarten through to high school with broad-based North American curriculum.

ICS Headmaster John Nelson gave his staff a declaration titled ‘Standards of Biblical Ethics and Integrity’ to sign last year, according to Ming Pao.

In a list of ‘activities and choices that may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of service, and/or legal action,’ there is one bullet point for ‘unethical’ sexualities.

‘Engaging in any form of homosexuality, fornication, transvestitism, bestiality, alternative gender identity, pornographic addiction, or any other sexual behavior that violates biblical purity or the marriage covenant between man and woman,’ it reads.

Gay lawmaker Ray Chan Chi-chuen slams ICS for discriminating against people of different sexual orientations in the name of religion.

He finds it an insult to gays for homosexuality to be listed together with bestiality, and also laments the inability of existing laws to deal with this case.

The Equal Opportunities Commission has been fighting to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, but the government has not even started relevant public consultation.

Trans people are protected – but it is for having the ‘disability’ of gender identity disorder – by the city’s Disability Discrimination Ordinance.

The Education Bureau hasn’t addressed Gay Star News’ question about whether the ethics declaration is permissible, but states that it is in principle against discriminatory policies at schools and will look into the case.

Chong Yiu-kwong, an adjunct professor for law at Shue Yan University, tells Ming Pao it is indeed in the bureau’s power to revoke a mismanaged school’s license.

Chong also says there was once a case in the UK where an expelled gay soldier defeated the Ministry of Defense by arguing it discriminated against his lover’s gender.

Should ICS fire any gay teacher, the teacher may well file gender discrimination litigation in the same way, he notes.

Other local Christian school groups appear to be more accepting of LGBTI staff than ICS, which was founded in 1991 by six missionary agencies and three independent members.

The Catholic Church says its schools do not ask about sexual orientation during job interviews and will not sack anyone for being gay. The Hong Kong Anglican Church also says it stays out of teachers’ ‘personal preferences.’

ICS, which is hiring teachers for Math, Art and English, cannot be immediately reached for comment today.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

National model citizen completes gender reassignment surgery in China

Receives more than 190,000 mostly supportive comments on social media
No thumbnail available

Straight soccer player kisses opposing teammate to defuse angry clash

Bristol Rovers' Lee Mansell says kissing Gateshead's JJ O’Donnell was a ‘daft’ thing he did to avoid doing anything ‘silly’
No thumbnail available

Will Ferrell defends anti-gay jokes in Get Hard

Critics have panned the prison comedy, claiming the 'gay panic' jokes are offensive
No thumbnail available

London gets ready for As One In The Park gay music festival

Rita Ora, Boy George, Katy B and DJ Roger Sanchez will be As One this weekend at the UK’s biggest gay festival
Candis Cayne puts speculation to rest: She is just friends with Caitlyn Jenner
No thumbnail available

Bruce Jenner gets supportive tweets from Ellen, Rosie, Oprah, Gaga, JLo and Laverne Cox after interview

Matt Bomer, Sam Smith, Boy George, Mario Lopez, Debra Messing, Andy Cohen and Steve Grand also give shout outs
No thumbnail available

A 'very happy' Dustin Lance Black says he's 'very proud' of boyfriend Tom Daley for coming out

'Everything Tom has said about being in love I feel and echo probably more'
No thumbnail available

What happened when a mag gave out the worst free ‘gay joke’ book ever

Angry Italians are calling for the gossip magazine Visto to be removed from shops over the free supplement 'The Best Gay Jokes Ever'
No thumbnail available

Gay Bible 'arms' worshippers against Christian haters

Queen James Bible has been edited to make homophobic interpretations 'impossible'
No thumbnail available

Poland honors Elton John as their savior from communism

Gay 65-year-old pop legend is to be awarded the Medal of Gratitude from Poland