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Mike Pence calls criticism of wife’s job at anti-LGBTQ school ‘deeply offensive’

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By Brooke Sopelsa

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday addressed news coverage and criticism regarding his wife’s decision to return to teaching at a Virginia elementary school that explicitly bars LGBTQ employees and students.

“My wife and I have been in the public eye for quite a while, we’re used to the criticism,” Pence said in an interview with EWTN, a cable network that offers “news from a Catholic perspective.” But, he added, “to see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us.”

“We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education, and frankly religious education broadly defined,” he continued. “We’ll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”

National news outlets, including NBC News, reported Wednesday on the publicly available employment application and parent agreement of Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, where Karen Pence is now teaching art twice a week.

The school’s employment application asks applicants to initial a passage stating that they will “live a personal life of moral purity.” The “moral misconduct” that disqualifies potential employees includes “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.”

Virginia, like most states, has no statewide legislation explicitly prohibiting private employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

A parent agreement posted on the school’s website states that Immanuel Christian School reserves the right to “refuse admission” or “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.” The prohibited conduct and activities include “sexual immorality,” “homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity.”

The parent agreement cites Leviticus 20:13, a Bible passage that states, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”



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