Tasmanian CEO fighting battle for protection of recruitment practices
The Tasmanian Catholic Education Office has said it will consider legal action if told it cannot legally continue advertising for teachers supporting Catholic values.
With support from Archbishop Adrian Doyle, the Office has written to the state's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Jocelynne Scutt asking her to consider arguments supporting the historical position of Catholic schools in their recruitment practices of teachers.
Amidst increasing public debate, Catholic Education Office director Paul Stevens declined to comment to the Press, saying it was inappropriate to enter into the debate before Dr Scutt had time to consider the letter the Catholic Education Office sent her last week.
Mr Stevens also said the contents had not been publicly released so it would be presumptuous of other parties to draw conclusions about issues raised.
Meanwhile Catholics against Oppression spokesman Julian Punch said the Catholic Education Office's application for exemption from anti-discrimination laws was masking a fundamentalist push towards what he called a narrower view of morality.
"It's not just homosexuality. It's women teachers who support the ordination of women, and young Aboriginal people who are searching for a spirituality connected with their past," Mr Punch said. "These are often people who are committed to their Catholic faith and with a deep spirituality ... but who are made to feel evil or corrupt."