So the other day the Anglican leaders got together and wrote a letter to all Canberra politicians demanding that the right to discriminate against gays should be preserved in law. What's more they had the principal's of 34 Anglican schools sign the letter to give it more weight.
Among past students of the Anglican schools there was outrage.
The Anglican Synod last week sent all federal MPs a letter signed by the principals of 34 of its schools. It said while schools would not expel gay students or staff in practice, they wanted to preserve the right to employ people who "support the ethos of the school".But perhaps the most telling thing is the way one school principle equated gays with the insane.
The letter prompted a backlash from alumni. Ex-students from Abbotsleigh and St Catherine's in Waverley are circulating petitions, while there is also disquiet among graduates of schools such as St Andrew's, Shore and Roseville College.
A petition begun by St Luke's graduate Max Loomes has attracted more than 2000 signatures from graduates of many of the schools involved in the letter, such as Barker College, Blue Mountains Grammar, Shore, Arden Anglican School and The Kings School.
"We call on you to retract your open letter and not judge your staff by their sexual orientation but by the quality of their work," the open letter said. Most signatories were past students, although about 10 per cent were worried parents, Mr Loomes said.
The Abbotsleigh petition argues it does not matter whether the schools would actually act against gay staff and students. "As alumni, we are concerned that this public display of intolerance could have devastating effects on the girls to whom Abbotsleigh owes a duty of care."
Felicity Wilson, who graduated from Abbotsleigh in 2009, is also planning a peaceful march from Abbotsleigh to Barker College on November 10, to promote equality in schools and to raise money for struggling teenagers.
"They can say all they like about hiring within their values, but they are supporting a specific law that condones specific discrimination," she said. Sydney Morning Herald
"I am particularly averse however to the notion that the government may dictate to us whom we can and cannot employ," he said.And there it is, the homophobia.
"My aversion relates to my experience over 20 years ago as a government school principal, where the Department of Education forced particular teachers on the school I led. I came to the conclusion that some of them were actually clinically insane.
"They were not effective teachers. They did damage to the interests of children." Sydney Morning Herald