President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is expected to be confirmed next week, previously served on the board of three affiliated private Christian schools that effectively barred admission for children of same-sex parents and, according to an Associated Press report, “made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom.”
“The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., both before Barrett joined the board in 2015 and during the time she served,” The AP reported. “The three schools, in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia, are affiliated with People of Praise, an insular community rooted in its own interpretation of the Bible, of which Barrett and her husband have been longtime members. At least three of the couple’s seven children have attended the Trinity School at Greenlawn, in South Bend, Indiana.”
Barrett served on the board of Trinity Schools Inc. from July 2015 to March 2017, the schools’ president, Jon Balsbaugh, confirmed.
In 2014, the school’s trustees voted to limit admissions to the children of legally married couples or single parents, and the school’s enrollment agreement for the 2018-19 academic year states that “the only proper place for human sexual activity is marriage, where marriage is a legal and committed relationship between one man and one woman.”
Multiple individuals involved with Trinity or People of Praise told the AP that, in addition to the written policies, school officials made clear verbally they did not want to admit children of gay families.
Tom Henry, who was a senior at the Trinity School in Minnesota in 2017 and also served as a “student ambassador” for prospective students, said he was asked by a lesbian parent if the school would accept her child. Henry told the AP that he went to then principal Jon Balsbaugh and asked.
“He looked me right in the eye and said, the next time that happens, you tell them they would not be welcome here,” Henry told the AP. “And he said to me that trans families, gay families, gay students, trans students would not feel welcome at Trinity Schools. And then he said, ‘Do we understand each other?’ And I said, yes. And I left. And then I quit the student ambassadors that day.”
A faculty employment agreement from 2014-15, obtained by the AP, declares, “Blatant sexual immorality (for example, fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, etc.) has no place in the culture of Trinity Schools.”