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Karen Pence to Teach at School With Gay Ban

Second lady taught at the school for years before her husband became VP
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2019 12:11 PM CST
In this Dec. 6, 2018, file photo, Karen Pence smiles as she gives a tour of the holiday decorations at the Vice President's residence in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – Karen Pence is going back to work ... at a Christian school that does not allow gay students, parents, or employees. Pence taught at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, for years while husband Mike Pence served in Congress before becoming vice president. Now, the second lady is returning to the school to teach elementary art two days per week, Politico reports. The school's gay ban has of course come under fire ("All I can say is imagine the Republican outrage if Michelle Obama had taught classes at a school that banned Christians," reads one sample tweet) and Pence's spokesperson released a statement defending Pence's move: "Mrs. Pence has returned to the school where she previously taught for 12 years. It's absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school's religious beliefs, are under attack."

For her part, Pence, an artist who recently illustrated a book about the family's pet rabbit Marlon Bundo, said simply in a statement that she has missed teaching and is "excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do." The school requires parents to sign an agreement acknowledging that admission can be refused if the student, parent, or guardian undertakes activities such as "participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity." Employees, per their application, are also required to agree that marriage is between one man and one woman, and are disqualified for employment if they participate in "homosexual or lesbian sexual activity" or have a "transgender identity." (Karen Pence has an interesting nickname in the White House.)

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