Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett previously served as a trustee for a group of private Christian schools with anti-gay policies.
Barrett’s time with Trinity Schools Inc. ran from 2015-2017. Trinity operates three schools in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia. The organization is affiliated with the People of Praise community, of which Barrett and her husband, Jesse, have long been members.
According to Associated Press, the schools had policies that effectively barred children of same-sex parents and could lead to gay teachers being dismissed. The policies were in place when Barrett became a trustee.
Former employees and students told AP that People of Praise has been consistent in its teachings. This includes considering homosexuality an abomination, and marriage as only existing between opposite-sex couples.
A 2018-2019 school enrollment agreement states, “the only proper place for human sexual activity is marriage, where marriage is a legal and committed relationship between one man and one woman.” It goes on to state “fornication, pornography, adultery and homosexual acts, and advocating or modeling any of these behaviors” goes against the school’s core beliefs.
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Questioned about its policies, Trinity President Jon Balsbaugh told AP, “Trinity Schools does not unlawfully discriminate with respect to race, color, gender, national origin, age, disability, or other legally protected classifications under applicable law, with respect to the administration of its programs.”
Religious-based organizations are largely exempt from the recent US Supreme Court ruling that gives protections to LGBTQ employees from discrimination.
Last week, during her Senate questioning, Barrett was not asked about her membership of People of Praise or serving as a trustee for Trinity. It’s known that at least three of her children attended the Trinity school in South Bend, Indiana.
Of the former employees and students AP spoke with, most wanted to remain anonymous. However, some did not. Tom Henry was a student ambassador at Trinity School in Minnesota in early 2017. He would often show the parents of prospective pupils around the school.
On one such occasion, a lesbian mom asked him directly if her child would be welcome at the school. Henry, who is gay, was unsure how to respond. The next day, he asked Jon Balsbaugh, who was then headmaster at the school.
“He looked me right in the eye and said, the next time that happens, you tell them they would not be welcome here,” Henry recalled. “And he said to me that trans families, gay families, gay students, trans students would not feel welcome at Trinity Schools. And then he said, `Do we understand each other?´ And I said, yes. And I left. And then I quit the student ambassadors that day.”
Balsbaugh told AP his recollection of the conversation “differs considerably” but did not go into details, claiming he probably just gave Henry a copy of the school’s guidelines when asked the question.
AP sent detailed questions to the White House press office about Barrett’s trustee position with Trinity. However, White House spokesperson Judd Deere, who is himself gay, instead of offering answers, criticized the media outlet for its line of questioning.
“Because Democrats and the media are unable to attack Judge Barrett´s sterling qualifications, they have instead turned to pathetic personal attacks on her children´s Christian school, even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed that religious schools are protected by the First Amendment.”
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Discrimination is not a First Amendment issue.
Discrimination is practicing one’s religion.
Republicans hit all the media feigning outrage that people MIGHT ask Barrett about her religion, and the medial and Democrats fell for it.
Republicans wanted to preemptively fake outrage, because they know that she belongs to a fringe, bigoted group that is anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ and they don’t want her asked about it.
She’s a bigot.
That was supposed to be : Discrimination is not practicing one’s religion. They use religion as shield to be ass holes
If the dems win nov 3 and don’t pack the court, it will be the biggest mistake of our lifetime. The republicans have clearly demonstrated how ruthless they can be, especially Moscow Mitch. I like Michelle Obama, but when she said “when they go low, we go high”, it was more of a sound byte for her and not meant to be taken literal. We have to be ruthless as well if we are to have any balance. Tired of Democrats looking like weak sitting ducks
Hear, hear !!!
People think if Dems win, they will pack the S.C. But that is further from the truth. What they will attempt to do is to fill more seats on every level of judicial system. Judges have been saying they’re flooded with cases overload due to a shortage of judges on every level. Trump and the Republicans have packed the judicial system with judges who are BARELY qualified. Who did poorly on bar exams and arguing cases in mock trials. But there still is a shortage of judges and the next president will have to do something about the backlog and shortage. After all justice delayed is justice denied.
Problem is, somebody has to die before Democrats can “pack” in a replacement.
All, it gets better. KARMA
Did you see the pope’s announcement calling for civil unions between same sex couples?
That’s a huge move for the church. Notice he said civil, I’m good with that, because the marriage license is a civil document and over the years, getting married was outsourced to the churches, in my opinion as a convenience one stop shop. Why have a courthouse & church ceremonies when you can get legally married in the eyes of the state & God in one transaction.
PS interesting timing, just saying.
Where are the GOP/Don the Con defenders now? This extremist fanatic Coney Barrett symbolizes the truth of the Don the Con administration and its feelings about and towards LGBTQ people. All the Grenell sycophancy and GOP gaslighting aren’t going to change the fact that this president has appointed countless anti-LGBTQ fanatics to the federal courts. Coney Barrett is yet another one!
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