Christians pay taxes like everyone else, and some of the parents, particularly low-income parents, want to use state vouchers to send their children to Christian schools.
But the state of Maryland not only kicked a religiously affiliated school out of the voucher program for low-income students, it also demanded a refund for the money previously used by the school.
According to Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the school, the government claims that Bethel Christian Academy discriminates against homosexuals because it adheres to Christian doctrine on marriage and sexuality — even though the school said it hasn’t rejected students who are homosexuals (emphases added):
Bethel Christian Academy offers a faith-based education to more than 280 students in the Baltimore metro area, including students from over 40 different nations, children who recently immigrated to the United States, and families with different or no religious affiliations. While over 20% of the students receive some financial aid, many families were able to afford sending their children to Bethel because the school participated in Maryland’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today school voucher program. In August 2018, just weeks before the school year started, Maryland officials abruptly notified families that they could no longer use their BOOST vouchers to educate their children at Bethel.
“Bethel Christian Academy has not—and will not—turn down a student based on their sexual orientation,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “Bethel simply asks grade-school students to refrain from engaging in any sexual conduct. The state has refused to play by its own rules. While Bethel fully complied with the program’s requirements, Maryland let its hostility toward Bethel’s religious views, not the law, decide the school’s eligibility. Maryland’s families deserve better; that’s why we’re asking the court to address the state’s hostility.”
Bethel Christian Academy filed a lawsuit against the state on Monday.