Vice President Mike Pence’s wife Karen has taken a job at at private school that doesn’t admit — or tolerate — LGBTQ students or employees.
The second lady started a gig as an art teacher at Immanuel Christian School in Virginia, a state that allows private employers to discriminate against employees based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. And the K-8 school does exactly that, according to a “parent agreement” and employment application posted online.
School officials can deny students admission or expel them for “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,” according to the parent agreement. The document then directly references a passage from the Biblical Book of Leviticus that says homosexuality is an “abomination.”
“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do, which is to teach art to elementary students,” Pence, who previously taught art at the school for 12 years, said in a statement. “I have missed teaching art, and it’s great to return to the school.”
The application for employment at the school — now K-8 but expanding to 9th and 10th grades in the fall — also includes a section that forbids gay and transgender people from working there.
“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,” the application reads.
A spokeswoman for the second lady told the Huffington Post, which broke the story, that it was “absurd” that her “religious beliefs” were under attack. Pence’s husband, however, has a well-documented history of anti-LGBTQ views and policy. Pence, for example, co-sponsored a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 2004 that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
Gay and lesbian kids are about five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. For trans and nonbinary youth, those rates are even higher.
Cover image: Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence arrive at Air Force Two at Fort Lauderdale Airport Jetscape Alpha on November 30, 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (MPI10 / MediaPunch /IPX)