Karen Pence to teach at school that bans LGBTQ employees, students

Second lady Karen Pence announced on Tuesday that she would return to teaching art at a northern Virginia elementary school that explicitly bars its employees from engaging in or condoning "homosexual or lesbian sexual activity" and "transgender identity."

The employment application for the Immanuel Christian School, which was first reported on by HuffPost, asks applicants to initial a passage stating they will "live a personal life of moral purity."

"I understand that the term 'marriage' has only one meaning; the uniting of one man and one woman," the passage states."Moral misconduct which violates the bona fide occupational qualifications for employees includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as the following: heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites, and sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law."

In a parent agreement posted on the school's website, it states that Immanuel Christian School reserves the right to "refuse admission" or "discontinue enrollment" 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." The prohibited conduct and activities include "sexual immorality," "homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity."

In this "biblical morality" section, the parent agreement cites Leviticus 20:13, a bible passage that states, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

Pence previously worked at Immanuel Christian School for 12 years when then-Congressman Mike Pence served in Washington. Her office announced that she would teach twice a week until May.

"I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do, which is to teach art to elementary students," Pence, who taught for 25 years before becoming first lady of Indiana in 2013, said in a statement. "I have missed teaching art, and it's great to return to the school where I taught art for twelve years."

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Vice President Mike Pence is sworn in as his wife Karen Pence watches during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Karen Pence, wife of Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence, speaks to supporters during a campaign event November 3, 2016 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, campaigned for her husband, five days before the nation pick her next president.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen and daughter Charlotte, visit the former German Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, Germany February 19, 2017.

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U.S. President Donald Trump with his wife Melania and Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen cut a cake at the Armed Services Ball in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

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Indiana governor Mike Pence and wife Karen Pence attends the 2014 IPL 500 Festival Parade during the 2014 Indy 500 Festival at on May 24, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen waves at a Liberty Ball in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

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Karen Pence (L), wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence (L), talks with Tiffany (C) and Ivanka Trump before the arrival of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 20, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Mike Pence is sworn in as U.S. Vice President as his wife Karen holds a bible during inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden meet with Vice President elect Mike Pence and Karen Pence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2016.

(REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen greet supporters during a rally for Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.

(Mike Segar / Reuters)

U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence with his wife Karen enters the floor to dance at Indiana Society Ball in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017.

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Karen Pence, wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate Governor Mike Pence, waves to other attendees shortly after arriving for the vice presidential debate between her husband and Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Melania Trump, wife to the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, and Karen Pence, wife of Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, hold an event at Main Line Sports Centre in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 3, 2016.

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U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence arrive at U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump?s election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 8, 2016.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Anne Holton (L), wife of Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine (L), shakes hands with Karen Pence, wife of Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, ahead of the start of their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Karen Pence, wife of Republican vice presidential nominee Indiana Governor Mike Pence, gestures after her introduction at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the GOP Vice Presidential candidate, greet the crowd along with his wife Karen during a town hall meeting at the Mile High Station August 03, 2016.

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When asked by NBC News about the northern Virginia school's policies regarding LGBTQ people, Pence's communications director stated, "It's absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school's religious beliefs, are under attack."

Pence's office did not answer multiple questions about the second lady's beliefs regarding employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and whether she believes homosexual activity and transgender identity constitute "moral misconduct."

Eliza Byard, executive director of LGBTQ youth advocacy group GLSEN, called Pence's decision to return to a school with restrictive policies regarding sexual orientation and gender identity — especially while in a highly public role — "deeply disturbing."

"The prohibitions at this school," Byard said, "take the position that not only are you not allowed to be yourself, but you're not allowed to express support for LGBTQ people."

"I do hope that as an elementary school teacher," she added, Pence "will have some measure of compassion for students in that school that will be suffering as a result of these policies and did not choose to enter that school by their own choice."

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