In Some Australian Schools, Teachers Can Be Fired for Being Gay

Source: The New York Times

Australian politicians are doubling down on a law that allows religious schools, which receive government funding, to discriminate against gay teachers and students.

Hugo Walker at his home in Canberra, Australia. He resigned from his teaching position at a private school in Canberra in 2013 after he came out.CreditCreditSean Davey for The New York Times

MELBOURNE, Australia — Hugo Walker was 52 years old when he came out as gay to his family and his bosses at the private Christian school where he worked.

It was July 2013, and Mr. Walker had been a teacher at the school in Canberra, Australia’s capital, for nearly 14 years. He taught science and Japanese. He had an impeccable record. But he tendered his resignation for that September, the end of the school term.

If he had not, the principal could have fired him — legally. “He was furious,” Mr. Walker said of the principal’s response to his coming out. “It was probably the most stressful three months of my life.”

In religious schools around Australia, stories like Mr. Walker’s are not uncommon. Teachers and other employees have been fired or forced to resign after revealing that they are gay, marrying their same-sex partners or transitioning to a different gender.

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