This little witch just took an oath of office which she is sure to violate! Does anyone really think she will uphold gay rights?!
Excerpts from the Article:
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.
The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., both before Barrett joined the board in 2015 and during the time she served.
The three schools, in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia, are affiliated with People of Praise, an insular community rooted in its own interpretation of the Bible, of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members. At least three of the couple’s seven children have attended the Trinity School at Greenlawn, in South Bend, Indiana.
The AP spoke with more than two dozen people who attended or worked at Trinity Schools, or former members of People of Praise. They said the community’s teachings have been consistent for decades: Homosexuality is an abomination against God, sex should occur only within marriage and marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Interviewees told the AP that Trinity’s leadership communicated anti-LGBTQ policies and positions in meetings, one-on-one conversations, enrollment agreements, employment agreements, handbooks and written policies — including those in place when Barrett was an active member of the board. Trinity Schools Inc. is a tax-exempt non-profit organization that receives some financial support from government-funded tuition voucher programs, according to its federal tax returns.
“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,” said Jon Balsbaugh, president of Trinity Schools Inc., which runs the three campuses, in an email.
The actions are probably legal, experts said. Scholars said the school’s and organization’s teachings on homosexuality and treatment of LGBTQ people are harsher than those of the mainstream Catholic church. In a documentary released Wednesday, Pope Francis endorsed civil unions for the first time as pope, and said in an interview for the film that, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.”
Barrett’s views on whether LGBTQ people should have the same constitutional rights as other Americans became a focus last week in her Senate confirmation hearing. But her longtime membership in People of Praise and her leadership position at Trinity Schools were not discussed, even though most of the people the AP spoke with said her deep and decades-long involvement in the community signals she would be hostile to gay rights if confirmed.
Suzanne B. Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School who studies sexuality and gender law, said private schools have wide legal latitude to set admissions criteria. And, she said, Trinity probably isn’t covered by recent Supreme Court rulings outlawing employment discrimination against LGBTQ people because of its affiliation with a religious community. But, she added, cases addressing those questions are likely to come before the high court in the near future, and Barrett’s past oversight of Trinity’s discriminatory policies raises concerns.
“When any member of the judiciary affiliates themselves with an institution that is committed to discrimination on any ground, it is important to look more closely at how that affects the individual’s ability to give all cases a fair hearing,” Goldberg said.
The AP sent detailed questions for Barrett to the White House press office. Rather than providing direct answers, White House spokesman Judd Deere instead accused AP of attacking the nominee.
“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,” Deere said in an email.
Nearly all the people interviewed for this story are gay or said they have gay family members. They used words such as “terrified,” “petrified” and “frightening” to describe the prospect of Barrett on the high court. Some of them know Barrett, have mutual friends with her or even have been in her home dozens of times. They describe her as “nice” or “a kind person,” but told the AP they feared others would suffer if Barrett tries to implement People of Praise’s views on homosexuality on the Supreme Court.
About half of the people asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation against themselves or their families from other members of People of Praise, or because they had not come out to everyone in their lives. Among those interviewed were people who attended all three of its schools and who had been active in several of its 22 branches. Their experiences stretched back as far as the 1970s, and as recently as 2020.
Tom Henry was a senior at Trinity School in Eagan, Minnesota, serving as a student ambassador, providing tours to prospective families, when Barrett was an active member of the board. In early 2017, a lesbian parent asked him whether Trinity was open to gay people and expressed concern about how her child would be treated. Henry, who is gay, said he didn’t know what to say. He had been instructed not to answer questions about People of Praise or Trinity’s “politics.”
The next day, Henry recalled, he asked the school’s then-headmaster, Jon Balsbaugh, how he should have answered. Henry said Balsbaugh pulled a document out of his desk drawer that condemned gay marriage, and explained it was a new policy from People of Praise that was going into the handbook.
“He looked me right in the eye and said, the next time that happens, you tell them they would not be welcome here,” Henry recounted. “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, who has since been promoted to president of Trinity Schools Inc., says his recollection of the conversation “differs considerably,” but declined to give details. He said it is likely he shared the school’s guidelines that at that time “had long been published in the parent handbook.”
Balsbaugh told the AP in an email that Barrett was not involved in the formulation or passage of any policies pertaining to homosexuality. He said Barrett served on the Trinity board from July 2015 to March 2017, and denied that the school’s leadership considered or formulated any new policy related to homosexuality during that time. He didn’t say whether the policy as described by Henry was ever adopted.
Multiple people who spoke with the AP detailed how Trinity’s leadership articulated and put in place policies that effectively barred gay families and employees.
A 2018-19 enrollment agreement obtained by the AP says “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 say that activities such as “fornication, pornography, adultery and homosexual acts, and advocating or modeling any of these behaviors” are at odds with the school’s core beliefs.
In 2014, the year before Barrett joined the board, the school’s trustees voted to limit admissions to the children of legally married couples or single parents. At the time, gay marriage was not legal in Indiana or Virginia. The wording was softened slightly after the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, though it still explicitly opposes LBGTQ relationships.
In addition to the written policies, school administrators made clear verbally they did not want to admit children of gay families, multiple people told the AP.
“Amy Coney Barrett helped lead schools that taught children and educators to hate themselves in the name of religion,” said Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s executive director.
During her confirmation hearing last week, Barrett also framed sexuality as a “preference.” That wording is rejected by LGBTQ advocates because it suggests sexual orientation is a choice.
“I have no agenda, and I do want to be clear that I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference,” Barrett said during the Oct. 13 hearing.
After some Democratic senators seized on her use of the term, Barrett apologized, saying she “did not mean any offense or to make any statement by that.” Andrea Turpin-King transferred to the South Bend school in 1990, in the middle of her 7th grade year, after her father was struck and killed by a drunken driver after leaving a well-known gay bar. Her mother hoped she could get a fresh start after she was bullied at another school. The teachers at Trinity were told about what had happened, she said.
Turpin-King recalled that during 9th grade one of her teachers told the class that all gay people go to hell.
“When she said that, all I could picture was my dad’s face, and all I could think about was how much I missed his hugs,” Turpin-King told the AP. “And so, I said, I don’t think that’s true. And she said that I was going to go to hell, too.”
Many former members told the AP they struggled to reconcile People of Praise’s and Trinity Schools’ religious teachings with their sexual identity, and suffered fear, anxiety and trauma. Many felt they had to leave, even at the risk of being shunned by friends and family.
One 2015 Trinity graduate who grew up in People of Praise recalled members requesting that the community pray that their gay loved ones would “recover” from their homosexuality.
Another Trinity graduate, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because his parents are still in People of Praise and his sexuality remains a sensitive topic for them, was forced to undergo conversion therapy after Trinity administrators learned he was gay at age 16. He also recounted being counseled by a senior People of Praise leader that same-sex attraction was “changeable” with treatment and prayer. The widely discredited practice has been condemned by mental health organizations and LGBTQ advocacy groups as pseudoscientific, unethical and psychologically harmful.
Barrett’s position on gay rights is particularly crucial after two of the high court’s conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, this month wrote a dissenting opinion that appeared to call for the court to reconsider its 2015 same-sex marriage decision. Both Thomas and Alito were in the minority in that decision, as was deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, whose judicial philosophy Barrett has said mirrors her own.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group that opposes Barrett’s confirmation, said his group fears “a far-right Supreme Court that could undermine the rights of marginalized communities and the LGBTQ community for decades.”