Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, started at a job this week teaching art at Immanuel Christian School in Northern Virginia. It’s not a school where everyone is welcome.
In a “parent agreement” posted online, the school says it will refuse admission to students who participate in or condone homosexual activity, HuffPost learned through an investigation into discriminatory admissions policies. The 2018 employment application also makes candidates sign a pledge not to engage in homosexual activity or violate the “unique roles of male and female.”
“Moral misconduct which violates the bona fide occupational qualifications for employees includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as the following: 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,” says the application.
The application says that the school believes “marriage unites one man and one woman” and that “a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.” The application asks potential employees to explain their view of the “creation/evolution debate.”
The “parent agreement” asks parents to cooperate in its “biblical morality” policy. Under this policy, parents are to acknowledge the sanctity of marriage as a strictly heterosexual practice. Families who condone, practice or support “sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity” go against the principles of the school, per the document.
Karen Pence has been married to Mike Pence since 1985. In response to requests for comment on the school’s hiring practices and admissions policies, a spokesperson for Mrs. Pence noted that she also previously taught at the school for 12 years, while her husband was in Congress. The couple’s daughter Charlotte Pence attended the school, according to the school’s website.
“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, spokeswoman for the second lady.
Immanuel Christian School, which is private, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Karen Pence will reportedly teach at the school twice a week until May.
“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do,” Pence said in a statement, per USA Today. “I have missed teaching art.”
However, at least one LGBTQ rights group has already slammed the news of Pence’s employment at Immanuel Christian.
“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, senior vice president for policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement to HuffPost. “The Pences never seem to miss an opportunity to show their public service only extends to some.”
This article was updated to reflect additional information about the school’s admissions policies and comment from Karen Pence’s office.
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