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Lawyer: N.M. Christian School Illegally Denied Child of Two Dads Entrance

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jul 31, 2012

Officials from a Christian school in New Mexico refused to enroll a child because his parents are gay, even though the school accepts federal funding, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

The three-year-old boy's two fathers tried to enroll him in Hope Christian School but officials sent the family a letter that stated the child was denied because of his parents' sexual orientation.

"Same gender couples are inconsistent with scriptural lifestyle and biblical teachings," the letter sent to the family read. "Home life doesn't reflect the school's belief of what a biblical family lifestyle is."

Shane Youtz, an attorney who represents the family, says the school is violating New Mexico's Human Rights Act but the family hopes the school's officials will change their decision and accept the three-year-old. Youtz also said the issue can be resolved without any legal action.

The state's Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation.

Albuquerque's ABC affiliate news station KOAT7 reported that the letter also stated the school is private and is free from "excessive governmental interference in matters of religion." But the school will receive more than $60,000 in federal tax dollars during the school year.

KOAT7 also points out Hope Christian School qualifies for money under federal guidelines.

Peter Simonson, executive director of the American Civil Union of New Mexico, said he believes that institutions that discriminate should receive money from the government.

"We don't think agencies that discriminate or use religion to discriminate should be receiving our federal or government funds," Simonson said. He also says public schools should not use taxpayer money to promote religious curriculum.

But Al Sanchez, director of grant management at Albuquerque Public Schools, believes Hope is eligible to receive public funding and claims the school would have to fail to comply with specific conditions, such as failing to properly train teachers, to not receive federal money.

New Mexico does not recognize marriage equality but does have anti-discrimination and hate crime laws that protect on the basis of sexual orientation.

In June a court ruled that a professional photographer who refused to take pictures of a gay couple's commitment ceremony violated the Human Rights Act, the Associated Press reported. The photographer's company, Elane Photography, was ordered to pay nearly $7,000 in legal fees.

Watch a video of KOAT7 reporting the story below:


  • , 2012-07-31 15:33:00

    Why on earth would they want to send their kid to school with such backwards beliefs? There are surely better educational choices available. Why submit your child to such a hostile environment?

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-07-31 23:04:40

    2nd the motion. You’d think, or hope, these dads have the resources to send him to a good school.

  • , 2012-07-31 23:39:04

    Are you kidding me?! You cannot think that you can live a "lifestyle" that completely contradicts the Bible and expect to be accepted into a CHRISTIAN school! The 3 year old will be taught that this is wrong and may come back and teach his "dads" that this is not how God created them. Shame on KOAT7 for making this something bigger than it really is!!!!! GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED.

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-07-31 23:53:39

    Back when I was young and impressionable and believed in the religious flatulance, I remember reading that god gave man free will. In other words, if I want to be with another man... It’s okay. You are able to hide behind your wife for appearances and spend your free (secret) time looking at gay websites and quoting the bible. It’s okay too.

  • , 2012-08-01 02:27:58

    You do not have to anti gay to be a Christian. Just like you don’t have to be a terrorist to be a Muslin. Just stupid and stubborn.

  • Bomonghani, 2012-08-01 15:30:37

    Why the bloody hell would anyone of ANY lifestyle feel that they couldn’t send their child to a christian school? Granted, the parents should look into the values of the specific school. But a TRUE Christian holds no judgement. You do realize that gays don’t burst into flames when entering holy grounds, right? Having faith is a right of everyone. Christianity and homophobia are not mutually inclusive concepts... Much the same as gay and child molester aren’t... People on here should know better - if you don’t, you’ve no better than the bible - thumpers you so love to loath...

  • Wayne M., 2012-08-01 20:24:48

    First of all, being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered is not a choice and not a "lifestyle". Second, all forms of discrimination and hate (even if you lie about it calling it "speaking truth in love") are wrong and the real sins. Third, those who use religion to justify their homophobia do not speak for all Christians. Having said all this, my suggestion to the two fathers and their child is to follow Jesus’ advice, leave that "school" alone, shake the dust off your feet and walk away to a place where you will be welcomed by real Christians.

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