By Sarah Jones
Karen Pence, second lady of the United States, is going back to work. But as the Huffington Post reported on January 15, there’s an unsavory twist to this tale of female empowerment. Pence is resuming a position at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, and Immanuel refuses admission to LGBT students. And to students with LGBT parents. And to anyone who even condones “sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bisexual activity.” Its employment policies are similarly strict. Applicants have to prove that they, too, oppose “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity,” “transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female,” and must affirm the notion that “a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.”
Pence’s willingness to sign such a document doesn’t really come as a surprise. Her husband, Vice-President Mike Pence, isn’t exactly known for his embrace of LGBT rights. Wives may not be extensions of their husbands, but it’s reasonable to assume that the Pences share religious views. They did, after all, send their daughter Charlotte to this school, and friends of the couple previously described Karen as her family’s “prayer warrior” in comments to the Washington Post. And Immanuel’s policies are common enough for conservative, Christian schools, a fact religious conservatives repeatedly pointed out following the Huffington Post’s story.
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