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Mike Pence defends wife’s job at anti-gay school, calls criticism ‘offensive’

Mike Pence defends wife’s job at anti-gay school, calls criticism ‘offensive’

Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence has spoken out in response to the backlash his wife has received over her new teaching job.

Earlier this week it was revealed Second Lady Karen Pence was taking up a contract to teach art. She will teach twice a week at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia.

The school bans LGBT teachers. It also prohibits students from LGBT-supportive families. Karen Pence previously taught at the school for 12 years while her husband was a Congressman. Their daughter, Charlotte, also attended the institution.

Parents of students wanting to enrol in the school must sign an agreement they don’t participate in or condone ‘homosexual or bi-sexual activities.’

Parents must ‘embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman.’

Prospective teachers must also sign a contract acknowledge the ‘unique roles of male and female’. Teachers must also promise not to partake in ‘homosexual behavior, lesbian sexual activity and transgender identity.’

It’s not uncommon for Christian schools and colleges in the US to have such contracts.

‘Deeply offensive to us’

Many LGBT advocacy groups have criticized the wife of the Vice President for taking up a job at a school that excludes LGBT pupils and staff.

Chad Griffin, of Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said: ‘Why not serve at a school that welcomes everyone? Not a week passes without some reminder that the Pences view LGBTQ people as second class citizens.’

In an interview with the Catholic news network EWTN yesterday, Vice President Pence said the US has a rich tradition of religious education: ‘To see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us.’

Dr Jill Biden

Some think it not coincidental that the former Vice President’s wife tweeted her support for LGBTI rights yesterday. Dr Jill Biden, wife of Joe Biden, who served as Vice President to Barack Obama, yesterday congratulated a leading LGBTI advocate on his new position.

Reacting to the news that Brian Bond had been appointed Executive Director of LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG, Biden tweeted: ‘Congratulations, Brian! Proud to work with you at the White House; grateful for all that you have done for the LGBTQ community, we are fortunate for your continued leadership.’

The tweet did not go unnoticed by another US advocacy group, GLAAD. It responded: ‘Remember what it was like to have a Second Lady who stood up for LGBTQ equality and acceptance?’

See also

LGBTI advocates send queer-friendly kids books to Karen Pence’s school

US Vice President’s wife, Karen Pence, starts work at anti-LGBTI school