Updated – Press release from the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is appended below.
TV stations in Fort Worth are reporting on the expulsion of the daughter of a lesbian couple married in Canada by St. Vincent’s Episcopal School in Bedford Texas. The child was accepted as a student, but when her mothers attended a parent’s night, the school refused to enroll her because of her mother’s marriage.
In fact, the school is not an Episcopal School, as it’s not affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It probably needs to change its name to St. Vincent’s Anglican School. Which one would imagine would make the operators happy since they decided to reject any connection with the Episcopal Church.
The NBC affiliate quotes Tracy Harrison, one of the child’s mothers:
“It’s hard to believe that a place that’s supposed to take in and teach children about God and the basics of religion would actually discriminate against her because of who we are,” said Tracy.
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.
“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,” said Kenneth Monk, head of the school.
EPISCOPAL SCHOOLS HAVE NON-DISCRIMINATORY ADMISSION POLICIES
Several news outlets are covering the story of a 4-year-old girl denied admission at St. Vincent’s School in Bedford because her parents are lesbians.
Many of these stories refer to the school as St. Vincent’s Episcopal School. While this is indeed a private school, it is not an Episcopal school. Clergy at St. Vincent’s left The Episcopal Church in 2008, and have, in fact, been deposed by The Episcopal Church, which means they can no longer function as clergy in our church.
This confusion is understandable because even though they and former bishop Jack Iker have left The Episcopal Church, they continue to use our name and to occupy Episcopal Church property. The Episcopal Church is in litigation over these matters in the 141st District Court in Tarrant County, Texas.
All the schools in the continuing Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth (established by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in 1982) have policies of non-discrimination in matters of admission.
We appreciate your efforts to report this story as accurately as possible and hope this information is helpful.
For more information, contact Katie Sherrod, Director of Communications, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. 817- 909- 0070.