Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren't welcome in the classroom.
The policies that discriminated against LGBTQ people and their children were in place for years at Trinity Schools Inc., which has schools in Indiana, Minnesota and Virginia.
The schools are affiliated with the insular community People of Praise that has its roots in its own interpretation of the Bible. Both Barrett and her husband are longtime members of the group, and at least three of their children attended the Trinity School at Greenlawn, in South Bend, Indiana.
The Associated Press spoke with more than two dozen people who said the community's teachings have been consistent for decades, holding that homosexuality is an abomination against God, sex should occur only within marriage, and marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
"Trinity Schools does not unlawfully discriminate with respect to race, color, gender, national origin, age, disability, or other legally protected classifications under applicable law, with respect to the administration of its programs," Trinity Schools, Inc. President Jon Balsbaugh, said an email to The Associated Press.
A man who was a student at the time Barrett served as a trustee told The Associated Press that he was directed to tell gay parents of prospective students that they would not be welcome at the school while giving tours.
Prior to Barrett's arrival on the board, the school voted to limit admissions to children of legal y married couples of single parents. At the time of the decision, gay marriage had not been legalized.
During her confirmation hearings last week, Barrett was questioned about her views on protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. While she attempted to sidestep most answers on policy questions — as is precedent in Supreme Court confirmation hearings — Barrett did use the term "sexual preference" while telling lawmakers that she found discrimination against gay people "abhorrent."
Generally thought to be outdated, "sexual preference" is deemed as offensive by "GLAAD" because it implies that a person's sexuality is a "choice" that can be "cured." Barrett later apologized for using the term when confronted by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.