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Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ advocates slam Archbishop’s ‘homophobic misinformation’ in school letter

Pulse Tasmania
Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous sent the letter earlier this month. Image / Catholic Health Australia, Supplied

A recent letter from Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous to Catholic school communities has sparked controversy, with a Tasmanian equal rights group calling it homophobic misinformation.

The letter, titled ‘We are Salt to the Earth’, criticised stances on abortion, transgender issues, relationships and conversion therapy.

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Equality Tasmania president Rowan Richardson said he was concerned the letter could undermine the safety of schools as learning environments for young people.

”Schools should be affirming and safe places … however, the Archbishop’s letter has stigmatised LGBTIQA+ people as a threat to religious values and thereby created unsafe learning and working environments,” Richardson said.

“The Archbishop’s letter is also deliberately misleading about proposed law reforms including a state ban on conversion practices and proposed federal discrimination protections.”

Equality Tasmania are concerned the letter could undermine the safety of schools for young people. Image / Pulse

Equality Tasmania plans to request a right of reply from all Catholic schools that received the Archbishop’s letter, something welcomed by Independent MP Kristie Johnston, who called the letter deeply hurtful, disrespectful and discriminatory.

“As a parent of a child in a Catholic school I was disgusted to receive this letter that condemns and discriminates against so many in my community,” she said.

“The Archbishop seeks to ostracise from schools those who don’t subscribe to his ultra conservative Catholic views.”

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She said that she knew many Catholics who disagreed with the views expressed in the letter and supported inclusive practices in schools.

“I stand with all those who are impacted and support Equality Tasmania’s call for a right of reply. This kind of hateful speech has no place in our community.”

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