Usually, when church/state advocates argue against school vouchers, they’re fighting against tax dollars being used to pay for religious schools that may preach Creationism or revisionist history.
Alex Morris shows us in the latest issue of Rolling Stone that there’s another concern: LGBT students can be legally expelled from schools that are receiving this government cash:
As religious institutions, these schools have the legal right to uphold and enforce any faith-based belief system they please. And parents who enroll their children — if not always the children being enrolled — understand the repercussions of such policies. However, by exploiting recent legislation, Christian schools in Georgia that openly discriminate against gay students have been receiving millions of dollars in diverted public funds as a result of a 2008 law meant to provide funding to help [low-income] children transfer to private schools. Tristan, Jason and Emily, along with about 500 other students, attend a school that participates in this program.
It’s not just Georgia — 11 other states now have laws that offer tax credits to those who give scholarships for private schools.
Keep in mind none of the students in question necessarily violated some fictional moral code. They didn’t lose their virginity. They didn’t advocate for gay marriage at school. Their only crime was “being gay.”Even a lot of evangelical churches (and the Catholic Church) will argue that it’s perfectly fine to be gay as long as you don’t act on it. They get that it’s not a choice.
Not these schools. They think you chose to be gay and they intend to punish students for it:
Tristan faced a similar dilemma when a group of students threatened to go to the principal and report someone else for being gay. Looming large is the fact that someone actually was expelled some years back, under a school provision that is still on the books. “They found out she was a lesbian, and they made her go in front of the entire school and tell them,” says Tristan. “And then they kicked her out the next day.”
Love the sinner, my ass.
It’s bad enough that these kids have to go to schools that miseducate them in the name of Jesus. But for the schools to threaten them with expulsion or public humiliation over something they didn’t choose that many of them are only now coming to terms with? It’s just plain cruel.
There’s just no reason any decent parent should subject their kids to this sort of punishment. And there sure as hell is no reason for the state and federal government to allow tax money to go to these private schools.
(Image via Shutterstock)