Hong Kong: Christian school bans gay teachers

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Christian school in Hong Kong has imposed a ban on gay teachers under a controversial “morality contract”.

The International Christian School in Sha Tin said staff cannot enter into a same-sex relationship or live with a same-sex partner outside of marriage.

The South China Morning Post reports the school saying it aims to employ “good Christian role models for our students”.

Campaigners and Anglicans have criticised the rules, while the Equal Opportunities Commission said it wanted to expand local laws covering discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

The Reverend Peter Douglas Koon, provincial secretary general for the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, said: “We don’t support this policy because it is discrimination. Our Anglican schools [in Hong Kong] would not apply the same rules.

“You cannot assume gay people will promote homosexuality [to pupils]. 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.”

The government states in its Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment on the Ground of Sexual Orientation that denying people jobs on the basis of their sexual orientation is “morally wrong and irrational”. The code, however, is only voluntary and not legally enforceable.

The commission said it would explore discrimination and “tackle this issue, including legislating against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Hong Kong in 1991. The age of consent was equalised in 2006.

Same-sex sexuality activity for women has always been legal.