GLAAD Adds Karen Pence to Its Catalog of Trump Administration Anti-LGBTQ Activists, Calls on Her to Leave Teaching Post

Reports reveal wife of Vice President is employed by private school that openly discriminates against LGBTQ students and staff

Immanuel Christian School’s stated beliefs: “Homosexual acts and lifestyles are clearly perversion and reprehensible in the sight of God.”

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today condemned Second Lady Karen Pence for returning to her teaching post at Immanuel Christian School, an anti-LGBTQ institution that actively discriminates against LGBTQ students and faculty. According to news reports, the Second Lady of the United States will teach art to about 400 students at a school that claims “Homosexual acts and lifestyles are clearly perversion and reprehensible in the sight of God.”

GLAAD added Pence to its Trump Accountability Project, which documents the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and actions of over 75 officials in and associated with the Trump Administration. Karen Pence’s new profile on GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project is here: https://www.glaad.org/tap/karen-pence

“It’s disturbing Second Lady Karen Pence would put her stamp of approval on an institution that actively targets LGBTQ students at one of the places where they should feel the safest,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO at GLAAD. “When young people are coming to terms with their sexual orientation and gender identity, they deserve to have the support of the adults in their lives. Often the arts are a safe haven for these students, and let’s be honest – we wouldn’t have some of the world’s most profound and impactful art if it weren’t for LGBTQ people. As an art teacher, I suspect she is aware of that. She should leave this teaching post and join the faculty of an institution that values and supports the acceptance of all students.” 

Ellis also called on Immanuel Christian School to abandon its policy that discriminates against LGBTQ students.

“Immanuel Christian School should immediately reexamine its policy of open discrimination against LGBTQ students and understand just how dangerous it is to further marginalize young people who are struggling to come to terms with their identity or have made the courageous choice to come out as LGBTQ in a difficult environment,” said Ellis.

The Pence report comes a week after the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a disturbing report that found LGBTQ students – specifically transgender and gender nonconforming students – experienced more hostile climates at their schools over the last two years.

Second Lady Pence joins the list of administration officials with disturbing anti-LGBTQ activist records. According to GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project (TAP), President Trump and his administration have been the most anti-LGBTQ in recent history, authorizing attacks on the LGBTQ community more than 90 times. For more about these, go to www.glaad.org/trump.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Karen Pence’s Anti-LGBTQ Past

WaPo report: “In 1991, Karen Pence, then an elementary-school teacher, penned a letter to the editor in the Indianapolis Star, complaining that the paper’s “Children’s Express” section had featured an article that “encourages children to think they’re gay or lesbian if they have a close relationship with a child of the same sex” or admire a teacher of the same gender. ‘I only pray that most parents were able to intercept your article before their children were encouraged to call the Gay/Lesbian Youth Hotline, which encourages them to ‘accept their homosexuality’ instead of reassuring them that they are not,’ she wrote.

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