By Matt Baume
The future of safe schools may have just been decided by a few skinned knees on a Missouri playground.
The playground in question belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri, where the rough gravel surface was hurting children when they fell. In 2012, the church applied for a state grant to replace the rocky surface with soft rubber mats.
The state rejected the church’s grant application, though, due to a constitutional provision that bars the distribution of taxpayer funds to religious organizations. Lawsuits followed, and this week, the Supreme Court ruled in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer that the state cannot withhold taxpayer funding from churches.
A major force behind the case—and indeed, behind much of the country’s recent anti-LGBTQ activism—is a little-known group called The Alliance Defending Freedom. Over the last few years, ADF has been stealthily seizing power in the nation’s public school systems, with queer youth squarely in their crosshairs.
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