Florida Adventist School Fires Gay Teacher Despite Federally Funded
The Forest Lake Education Center in Longwood fired gay teacher, Steven Arauz, after he gave an interview to the online publication “Gays with Kids”. The a Seventh-day Adventist sect is an ardent fighter against same-sex relationships.
After Arauz shared the story of the adoption of an 11-year-old boy, superintendent of schools for the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Frank Runnels informed the teacher that such behavior was not in line with their church's code of conduct.
“You are aware that this conduct, if true, does not comport with the Seventh-day Adventist church’s standards and the education program at FLEC,” Runnels wrote in email.
In a statement to the Sentinel on Tuesday, Runnels said Adventist teachers are part of the church’s ministry and “must teach, support and live in accordance with the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Arauz, he added, “breached this agreement” through his “conduct and advocacy.”
Today in the United States there are a lot of different religions that promote conservative family values, but according to the Constitution, if schools, even under the patronage of anti-gay churches, accept taxpayer money, they must get rid of discrimination.
Florida’s scholarship law prohibits schools that take the vouchers from discriminating against students based on “race, color or national origin” but does not protect gay students. State law also does not protect LGBTQ people from employment discrimination.
The Florida Department of Education annually sponsors up to 40 percent of the students in schools that are run by the Seventh-day Adventists Church, which is equivalent to $ 1.7 million.