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Pro-gay marriage Catholic teacher suspended over beliefs

Pro-gay marriage Catholic teacher suspended over beliefs

A teacher at a New Zealand Catholic college was suspended over his belief gay people should be able to get married.

Students have allegedly also been threatened to be thrown out of the college in Whangarei in a continued dispute with the principal over marriage equality.

The stand-off began when Pompellier College principal Richard Stanton laid out his objections to gay marriage in the school newsletter.

When teacher Nigel Studdart saw the newsletter last Saturday morning (25 August), he requested the principal withdraw the comments.

Students who organized a Facebook page were allegedly threatened and Studdart, who agreed with their cause, was suspended and could easily lose his job.

In an interview with TV One, Studdart said: ‘The principal took the page down and basically frightened a student into doing it which I think is awful.’

Stanton said he had a ‘religious objection’ to marriage, and said if gay marriage was legalized polygamy was sure to follow.

He also feared same-sex couples will argue for their right to have children.

In the newsletter, he wrote: ‘My fear is we are moving towards a society where children become an ‘entitlement’ or ‘right’ and therefore commodities.

‘I acknowledge that possessive parents are not exclusively found in same-sex relationships but I contend that such relationships ma be more disposed towards such a mindset.

Studdart told news show Close Up he has no issue with the principal’s stance on gay marriage.

He said: ‘I fully understand it’s a Catholic school. It wouldn’t be my opinion, but he’s entitled to his.’

‘My real problem with it, separate from the students’ issue really, is where he contended to his words that somehow gay parents would be lesser parents.

These events follow a survey which revealed on 27 August there are enough votes for a bill, which will aim to legalize same-sex marriage in New Zealand, to get a first reading.