‘The God that I know and the God that I love will love me and love my children no matter what’

From left, Tracy, Olivia and Jill Harrison on CNN’s Headline News.

CNN is the latest to report on the case of a Bedford lesbian couple whose daughter was denied admission to a local Anglican elementary school because her parents are, well, both women. (The couple told us they did an interview with CNN’s Headline News on Monday night, but we haven’t seen the video posted anywhere yet.)

Interestingly, the dean of the school questions why the couple, Jill and Tracy Harrison, would want to enroll their child in a school that “undercuts [their] personal values at home.” And Jill Harrison confirms that, “I absolutely would not want her to partake in a school where they did not believe or condone the relationship that we have together,” she said.

On why she initially sought to enroll 4-year-old Olivia at St. Vincent’s (which CNN refers to as St. Vincent’s Cathedral School, not St. Vincent’s Episcopal School), Tracy Harrison explains that the couple wanted their daughter to learn basic biblical teachings such as the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments and “be kind to your neighbor.”

“The God that I know and the God that I love will love me and love my children no matter what,” Tracy Harrison said.

Amen. And we will, of course, have more on all this in Friday’s Voice.

—  John Wright

Dallas-Area School Denies Admission to Girl with Lesbian Parents

Stvincents

St. Vincent's, an Anglican elementary school in Bedford, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has denied admission to a girl because her parents are lesbians, NBCDFW reports:

"Jill and Tracy Harrison, lesbians married in 2006 in Canada, applied to enroll their daughter into St. Vincent's School, in June.
On the application, they crossed out the word father on the application and wrote mother and put Tracy's name on that line. Jill was written on the mother line.
They attended the school's parent night on Tuesday, and now, just a few days before school starts Monday, the school is denying their daughter Olivia enrollment into the school because her parents are lesbians, the women said…Though the school's handbook and website say that the school is non-discriminatory as to race, color, religion and national or ethnic origin, it doesn't stipulate that they won't discriminate based on the sexual orientation of a child's parents."

NBCDFW notes in its story:

"Our story originally referred to the school as St. Vincent's Episcopal School. Even though the sign at the church says Episopal, they said they have parted with that church and are now Anglican."

The major schism in the Anglican/Episcopal church over the past five years has regarded its positions on gays and gay clergy.

In fact, North American church leaders met at St. Vincent's in 2009 "to launch the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), described as an 'alternative' to the U.S. Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion."

Said Jill Harrison: "I am horribly disappointed. In fact, we are in the 21st century and we are still dealing with this issue. We should just move on. Denying my daughter education based on who I end up sleeping with at the end of the day makes me furious."

 


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

‘Episcopal’ school in Bedford, Texas, denies enrollment to girl with 2 lesbian moms

A so-called “Episcopal” school in Bedford has denied admission to the daughter of two lesbian parents, NBCDFW.com reports.

St. Vincent’s Episcopal School turned down the daughter of Jill and Tracy Harrison, just a few days before school starts.

The Harrisons, who were married in Canada in 2006, crossed out the word “father” on the school’s application in June and replaced it with mother, listing both of their names. They attended a parents night at the school this past Tuesday before being notified of the decision, and they’ve been refunded the $100 application fee.

“I am horribly disappointed,” Jill Harrison said. “In fact, we are in the 21st century and we are still dealing with this issue. We should just move on. Denying my daughter education based on who I end up sleeping with at the end of the day makes me furious.”

The school’s nondiscrimination policy doesn’t include sexual orientation. From Kenneth Monk, the head of the school:

“We are a church affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America, and it is their policy that we don’t provide services to individuals or families that do not behave properly. We’re going off our canons that say, ‘The Anglican Church in North America affirms our Lord’s teaching that the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong of one man and one woman.’”

It’s not uncommon for private religious schools to deny enrollment to the children of same-sex parents. But usually it’s a Catholic school.

In this case, the Anglican Church in North America is one of the groups that’s split off from the U.S. Episcopal Church over the demoniation’s decision to consecrate openly gay bishops. The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, which includes Bedford, is one of several that have broken away since Bishop V. Gene Robinson was consecrated in 2004. Which is why we’ve put “Episcopal” in quotations when referring to St. Vincent’s. The school’s website lists it as “A preschool through eighth grade school in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.”

UPDATE: A note we just received from Jason C.N. Smith, a Fort Worth attorney and straight LGBT ally who says he went to elementary school at St. Vincent’s:

“This action definitely not how I was taught to treat others at St. Vincent’s,” Smith wrote. “I was taught love God and thy neighbor as thy self, which includes this little girl and her parents.”

—  John Wright