Faith school denies place to daughter of lesbian couple

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A private Christian school in Texas has refused admission to the daughter of a lesbian couple. The school say their reason for the refusal is that they base their enrollment policies on the “clear teaching of the Christian faith”.

St Vincent’s Cathedral School in Dallas reportedly said in an email to the HLN news network that they would not deviate from their stance over “matters of marriage and sex outside marriage” by admitting 4-year-old Olivia Harrison.

The Reverend Ryan Reed reportedly said: “We based our decisions about enrollment on what is best for the children of St Vincent’s as a whole and in conformity with the above standards. We regret the disappointment the mother feels, but also do not understand why she would want to enroll her child in a school that would undercut her own personal values.”

Rev Reed added: “St Vincent’s School as a ministry of St Vincent’s Cathedral upholds the clear teaching of the Christian faith, the Holy Bible, and the Anglican Church in North America.”

St Vincent’s is part of an Anglican conservative breakaway faction from the US Episcopal Church, which spilt in 2008 over the latter’s position on LGBT rights.

Jill Harrison, the mother of Olivia, said that the school’s decision was “fine” with her as she did absolutely not want her daughter to be taught at a school “where they did not believe or condone the relationship that we have together,” she said.

Ms Harrison claims that the school appeared to have no problems with admitting her daughter until she and her partner, Tracy Harrison, attended a parents’ evening there.

Tracy Harrison, who was raised in a strict Baptist home, said that they had chosen the school because they hoped it would teach their daughter “the basic Bible teachings … follow the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, be kind to your neighbor.”

In reply, Rev Reed said that the school had no qualms with single mothers, whether they be gay or straight, as long as they were “living chaste”. He added that they’d taken their hardline in other cases, rejecting an application from another gay household, firing an unmarried teacher who became pregnant and also another member of staff who left his wife for another woman.

Tracy Harrison said: “The God that I know and the God that I love will love me and love my children no matter what.”