US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen. (Mark Wilson/Getty)
The infamously anti-LGBT+ where Karen Pence is a teacher was “handed almost $1 million in federal funds” intended to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karen Pence, the wife of US Vice President Mike Pence, teaches art at the conservative Immanuel Christian School in Virginia.
According to the US Small Business Administration, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) “is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll”, but it has been revealed that the anti-LGBT+ school received a large payout.
But Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US, told the publication in a statement: “It is shameful that an institution that discriminates against LGBT+ Americans received nearly $1 million in taxpayer funds.
“This money was meant to help mom and pop small businesses meet payroll and keep the lights on — instead the wealthy and well-connected cashed in.”
When the Trump administration announced the PPP scheme, it released a list of organisations that had been given more than $150,000.
Among them were just two prominent LGBT+ organisations, while anti-LGBT+ hate groups and homophobic televangelists were given up to $16 million in loans.
The Christian school where Karen Pence teaches bans students with same-sex parents.
Immanuel Christian School’s admission and employment policies discriminate against LGBT+ students, families and staff members.
Families of prospective students are required to follow a parental agreement that reads, in part: “I understand that the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrolment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches.
“This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school.”
Prospective school employees are also required to sign a document in which they pledge to “maintain a lifestyle based on biblical standards of moral conduct”, which includes understanding that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman and that sexual intercourse can only take place between a married heterosexual couple.