FFRF decries Fla. religious school’s tax-supported bigotry 

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation finds detestable the anti-LGBTQ policy a Sunshine State religious school has recently announced.

“A religious school in Florida says it will only refer to students by their sex assigned at birth, while pupils who are gay, transgender or gender nonconforming ‘will be asked to leave the school immediately,’” reports NBC News.

“The June 6 correspondence to parents [from Grace Christian School] cited scripture and said that students will be referred to by the ‘gender on their birth certificates’ during the school year beginning this month,” the story adds. “‘We believe that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal dignity,’ the email said.”

Already, parents of a 16-year-old LGBTQ student at the school have decided to withdraw her due to the bigoted communique.

Policies like this are common among private religious schools (a Louisiana Christian school has recently asked a married same-sex couple to withdraw their kindergartner), even though they would be illegal at public schools. The distinction between private and public is much less clear cut than many people assume, however. Grace Christian School has received more than a quarter of a million dollars in federal government PPP funding, and discriminatory private schools are bestowed taxpayer funds all over the country through various state and federal programs — despite their sometimes brazen bigotry. The Biden administration not even two weeks ago regrettably made it easier for religious schools to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and still remain eligible for federal money for student meal programs.

And the U.S. Supreme Court has further muddied the waters. It ruled in its recent Carson v. Makin decision that if states choose to fund private schools, they must include religious schools. In acting contrary to the country’s foundational constitutional principles, the court has essentially ensured that secular taxpayers will be forced to fund private religious schools (such as the one in Florida) with abhorrent policies.

“The line between public and private has become increasingly blurred in recent times,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Religious schools exhibiting despicable behavior are often not just a moral concern but also an unwarranted financial burden on right-thinking taxpayers.”

Public funds should go to public schools, FFRF concludes. If private schools insist on discriminating, they should be ineligible for taxpayer funds (whether they are religious or not). Taxpayers should not be forced to fund discrimination. Period.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 37,000 members and several chapters across the country, including over 1,800 members and the Central Florida Freethought Community chapter in Florida. Its purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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