Funding abolished – but chaplains could remain
Despite today’s ruling by the High Court stating federal funding for the National Chaplaincy Program was unconstitutional, LGBTI advocates warn those schools which already employ a chaplain need professional training in dealing with LGBTI issues.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, who penned a recent article regarding the case for specialised training for chaplains, said he is concerned chaplains are inadequately trained to meet the needs of LGBTI youth.
"My concern is that if chaplains are in schools they need to be trained in LGBTI issues", Mr Croome said.
"Today's High Court decision will not affect chaplains funded by the states and by local communities. They still need to be trained. If the federal government finds a way to continue its funding through the states then those chaplains also need to be trained."
Croome acknowledged recent studies by All Out which identified lesbian and gay youth as experiencing extreme homophobia at the hands of chaplains, as being a cause for concern.
"I acknowledge the case studies of chaplain homophobia collected by All Out and see it is as further evidence of the importance of training. I will continue to work with chaplaincy providers and LGBTI educators to make sure this training happens as widely and as effectively as possible,” Croome said.