Catholic newspaper drawn into discrimination law controversy
The Catholic Leader newspaper has refused to run a Queensland Government advertisement explaining its controversial anti-discrimination laws which will make it illegal for church schools to reject gay teachers or people in de facto relationships.
The full-page advertisement was scheduled to appear in this weekend's edition of the newspaper but was pulled yesterday after a meeting between the editor and church officials.
Premier Peter Beattie last night said he was disappointed the advertisement would not run.
He said there had been several misunderstandings about the legislation and the Government was trying to use the advertisement to give a detailed explanation of the proposed laws.
But The Catholic Leader editor Marcus Kuczynski said the paper believed it would be unfair to run the advertisement because discussions over the legislation were continuing, which could result in the laws being amended.
However, he conceded the church opposed some of the proposals detailed in the advertisement and could not guarantee it would be run once the talks had concluded.
The new anti-discrimination laws were introduced into State Parliament earlier this month without the normal community consultation.
If passed unchanged, they would allow private church schools to continue to require their staff to be of a particular religious faith, but would remove the right of any school to discriminate against gay and lesbian teachers or job applicants in a de facto relationship.
Laws threaten Church values (The Catholic Weekly, reproduced from The Catholic Leader)
Catholic Leader front page 18/11/02
Church may fight Queensland discrimination laws (14/11/02)
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland | Re: Discrimination Law Amendment Bill launch
The Queensland Cabinet | Government Updates Discrimination Laws (media release 6/11/02)
Gay law reforms to hit Queensland Catholic schools (8/11/02)
Catholic Education Commission Queensland
CEO Archdiocese of Brisbane
20 Nov 2002