Baptist school to appeal rejection of voucher program over gays

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2003

DENVER (AP) A private Baptist school will appeal a decision by Denver-area officials to reject its voucher program application because the school would expel homosexuals.

Rodolfo Gomez, principal of Silver State Baptist School in Lakewood, said the separate rulings this month by Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County officials were unfair and contradicted the purpose of the state voucher plan.

Under the state program, a school board can reject a private school's application if it advocates or fosters unlawful behavior or teaches hatred of a person or group. Silver State's discipline policy requires automatic dismissal for premarital sex, homosexuality and ''sexual perversion.''

Gomez said the school has not had an openly gay student in its 39-year history, but if an openly homosexual person did enroll, he or she would be counseled about biblical teaching on same-sex relationships before a decision is made on whether to expel them.

''Because we don't have a history, I would say we would treat it like other students caught with a smoking problem,'' Gomez said.

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