SABRINA TANG (News Editor)
The topic of religion remained prevalent during one of the hearings conducted to accomplish the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett by Election Day, more specifically concerning the issue of LGBTQ+ rights. A look into Barrett’s experience as a private school trustee member reveals a history of discrimination at the admissions level of a Christian-oriented institution.
According to the Associated Press, Barrett served nearly three years as a board member of a privately-funded Christian school chain known as Trinity School Inc. that maintained policies disadvantaging students with same-sex parents or who identified as part of the LGBT community. Attendants or former members of the schools were interviewed by the AP about the community’s teachings on God and homosexuality.
“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,” Jon Balsbaugh, president of Trinity Schools Inc. said.
However, many responses given by other interviewees showed that anti-LGBT policies were discussed frequently in meetings as well as one-on-one conversations between board members. In fact, Tom Henry, a senior at Trinity School in Eagan, Minnesota, reached out to Jon Balsbaugh, the headmaster, to discuss the school’s stance on the LGBT community.
“And he said to me that trans families, gay families, gay students, trans students would not feel welcome at Trinity Schools,” Henry said.
This has raised many concerns about the impact of religion in future SCOTUS decisions among the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“She allows religion to cloud her judgement on significant decisions… especially on topics [such as] the LGBTQ+ community,” senior Miyu Tang said.
When asked about her ability to make objective decisions despite her Catholic faith, Barrett continually refrained from expressing her views and claimed that revealing or imposing her personal beliefs would be erroneous.
“[Judges don’t] follow their personal convictions in the decision of a case,” Barrett said.
On Monday, Oct. 26, Barrett’s nomination was confirmed with a Senate vote of 52-48.