The Trevor Project has sent 100 copies of John Oliver’s gay bunny book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, to the Christian school in northern Virginia that bans gay students and parents where second lady Karen Pence is teaching art two days a week.
Said Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project: “The Trevor Project hears from young people every day about their experiences with rejection at home and school – places where they should feel the safest. We know that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth from rejecting families are more than eight times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. We hope Immanuel Christian School will adopt policies of inclusion for LGBTQ young people that make them feel safe, accepted, and loved.”
The Trevor Project adds: ‘Included with the donated books is a heartfelt note that encourages the school’s leaders to accept LGBTQ young people. Immanuel Christian School’s “Essentials of the Faith” parent agreement states that the school can refuse students or discontinue enrollment if they participate in, support, or condone “homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity,” and says they must embrace that marriage is only “between one man and one woman.” Additionally, the school’s “Employment Application” explicitly does not allow its employees to engage is “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” and “transgender identity.”’
Said Luke Hartman, an out gay man and alumnus of Immanuel Christian School: “I am a living example that intolerance, both in policy and rhetoric, are harmful to the mental wellness and development of LGBTQ students, who are desperately looking for ways to fit in. The silent and spoken messages of rejection that are constantly felt by LGBTQ students directly impact the relationship they have with their faith, education, and relationships with family and friends — ultimately resulting in a feeling of being less than when compared to their straight and cisgender peers.”
As we reported earlier this week, Immaculate Christian School has a “parent agreement” posted online stating their policy that bans LGBTQ students and parents from the school.
“I understand that the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches,” it states.
‘This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman. My role as spiritual mentor to my children will be taken seriously.”
Karen Pence’s office on Tuesday defended the decision. “It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack,” Pence’s spokeswoman Kara Brooks told the Huffington Post, which first reported the school’s controversial views. It is unclear how long the school has had this policy in place.
The New York Post stated further: “Applicants [at the school] must also affirm that “God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other,” a 2018 application shows.
“Moral misconduct which violates the bona fide occupational qualifications for employees includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as the following: heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites, and sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law,” the application states.