In Pennsylvania, the proposed law regarding what kind of schools could benefit from tax credits said any beneficiaries couldn’t discriminate against employees on account of their “gender, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.”
But after a group of Christian schools whined about how it was their religious right to discriminate against homosexuals, the governor has thrown out the non-discrimination clause, meaning that taxpayers will now be subsidizing private religious schools that refuse to hire LGBTQ employees.
The inclusion of “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” irked several religiously-affiliated private schools around the state. One school, Dayspring Christian Academy in Lancaster County, called the language a “direct violation of our Christian conscience,” and encouraged parents to contact their legislators.
Keep in mind these schools also don’t play by the same rules as other ones; they are under no obligation to give students standardized tests or publish the results if students take them. It’s one thing if they’re not receiving any help from the government, but Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is saying these private schools can get special treatment and selectively root out LGBTQ people in the hiring process.
Wolf would tell you a different version of the story. From his perspective, these non-discrimination guidelines were meant for state agencies and contractors. But earlier this year, when writing the rules for how the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) would work, the same language was accidentally inserted in there. The removal of the non-discrimination language is less an endorsement or acceptance of discrimination and more just correcting a mistake.
Read the full story at the Friendly Atheist Blog