Bethel Ministries v. Salmon

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Description:  Maryland officials revoked a church-run school’s eligibility to participate in a voucher program to benefit low-income students and demanded the school pay back thousands of dollars for previous participation in the program. Although the school fully complied with the program’s requirements, state officials disqualified Bethel from participating in the program after reading Bethel’s Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality, even though the school has not—and will not—turn down a student based on their sexual orientation. The school only simply asks students to refrain from engaging in any sexual conduct.


Court: MD Christian school’s religious discrimination lawsuit may continue


Thursday, November 14, 2019

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb regarding a federal court’s denial Thursday of Maryland officials’ motion to dismiss Bethel Ministries v. Salmon, filed by a church-run school. ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit in June after Maryland revoked the Baltimore-area school’s eligibility to participate in a voucher program benefiting low-income students and demanded the school pay back more than $100,000 for its previous participation in the program:

“The government may not discriminate against religious schools simply because it dislikes their religious beliefs. We’re pleased that the court has rejected Maryland’s attempt to shut down this case. Bethel Christian Academy offers an academically rigorous and caring Christian education in a diverse environment, but Maryland has refused to play by its own rules, expelled Bethel from a neutral government voucher program without just cause, and demanded the repayment of over $100,000—money that empowered the education of low-income students. Maryland’s families deserve better; that’s why we’re grateful Bethel’s lawsuit can move forward.”
 
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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Additional resources: Bethel Ministries v. Salmon

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Previous news releases:

  • 2019-10-31: MD Christian school to court: Stop govt from demanding $100K from us for our beliefs
  • 2019-06-25: Maryland officials deny low-income kids school vouchers if they choose Christian school

Commentary:

  • Claire Dant: Md. school sues state for constitutional violations based on religious beliefs (Baltimore Sun, 2019-07-01)

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