Two gay dads are shocked that a religious private school in Tennessee has refused to accept their children for enrollment.
Yahoo reports that Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard applied to the school after a friend said he believed the school would accept their family arrangement.
Copeland further explained the situation on his Facebook page.
“We chose this school because of its rigorous faith-based K-12 academics and extra curricular activities; and, a friend with a son there asked them if a family like ours would be allowed and was told yes. After a phone conversation, fully disclosing we are a two-dad family, an appointment was set for us. I received this letter canceling our appointment without even getting a chance.”
And just what did the letter say? According to the Tennessee real estate agent, the letter claimed “another education provider would be a better fit for your children,” and therefore, “we cannot grant admission to your children.”
“I share this to let my friends know that discrimination affects people you know and love and still hurts no matter how many times you go through it,” Copeland said.
His husband, Greg Bullard, is pastor of the Covenant of the Cross church in Nashville. Their children are a 3-year-old boy and an 8-month-old girl.
Bullard says their family “shares all the same values” as the church, with the exception of its opposition to homosexuality. The gay dads are not releasing the name of the school out of respect for the children who go there, they said, but it has since been identified as Davidson Academy in Nashville.
The school offers further explanation in the letter why they refused the gay couple’s children.
“[Davidson Academy] requires all its students, parents or guardians, teachers, administrators, staff, and trustees to manifest lifestyle conduct and actions which project an image consistent with the expressed purposes, mission, and beliefs of the school. Any lifestyle conduct which is in opposition to the mission of [Davidson Academy] or which impedes the school’s credibility with its constituency or the general public is unacceptable. … Just as you believe strongly in affirming all persons who worship at your church, we believe strongly in a strict interpretation of the Scriptures regarding the institution of marriage. I believe another education provider would be a better fit for your children.”
Yahoo commenters were mostly in favor of the school’s right to decide, with many “shocked” that the gay dads were shocked by such an outcome.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this same story played out with different characters. The thing these ‘outraged’ people have to learn to deal with is the school is a private organization. They have their own rules and standards. What they seem to not understand is by expecting the school to go against these standards they are infringing on the school’s first amendment right that guarantees their ability to practice their religion freely and without interference from the government.”
“This should come as no surprise after all the belief system of the school is contrary to the men’s lifestyle. Why would they want their child to go there?”
“As a gay man with children of my own, I have no problem with the decision. We all have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion, and if this school doesn’t agree, those rights should not be violated. Not even sure why this is news, other than to forward an agenda.”
“Who cares? Either we have freedom of religion or we don’t in this country. You can’t say we have freedom of religion than say a religious school must allow every one in even if their lifestyle does not honor the beliefs of that certain religion/school. I am sure there are gay religious schools in this country, lol. Find another private school that is not religious. I am tired of everybody playing victim and whining in this country. It is not discrimination, it is logical for the school since they are a religious school that values or believes in certain beliefs. Get over it.”
Do you think the gay dads are out of line for expecting a religious private school to accept their children, or is this a case of discrimination? Sound off in our comments section.