Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, teaches at a school that bans LGBTQ employees, students, and the parents of students.
Pence is teaching art part-time at Immanuel Christian School in Northern Virginia, where she was previously employed for 12 years when her husband was serving as a member of Congress. In order to work at the private institution, prospective employees must sign a pledge as part of the application process affirming their belief in marriage as “the uniting of one man and one woman.”
It also prohibits “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.”
Those seeking a job at Immanuel Christian School are also asked to explain their “view of the creation/evolution debate,” and their “view of the Bible as the infallible Word of God.”
The school has also posted a document online including a “parent agreement” that instructs on the degree to which the school will go in screening both students and their guardians to ensure they fit their religious worldview, which it is allowed to do as a private institution in Virginia, where there are no state laws protecting LGBTQ workers against employment discrimination.
It reads, in part:
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. 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.
“It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack,” said Kara Brooks, a spokesperson for the second lady.
“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do,” Pence said in a statement. “I have missed teaching art.”
“Why not teach at a school that welcomes everyone, instead of choosing one that won’t serve LGBTQ kids, kids of LGBTQ parents?” said JoDee Winterhof, from HRC. “The Pences never seem to miss an opportunity to show their public service only extends to some.”