Gays protest donation by AOL founder's wife to Christian academy

Posted: Friday, November 10, 2000

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A gay-rights group is criticizing an $8.35 million donation by the wife of America Online chairman Steve Case to the high school she attended. The school is run by a church that strongly opposes homosexual activity and sponsors ads saying gays can become heterosexual.

The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign wants Jean Case to reconsider her gift to Westminster Academy due to its ties with the Rev. D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

The school is ''inexorably linked to teachings that say gay and lesbian Americans are not worthy of dignity, respect and full citizenship,'' Human Rights Campaign executive director Elizabeth Birch wrote the Cases. ''Your gift will only create an assembly line of hate and intolerance.''

Jean Case said the donation will benefit children, not the church. ''In no way was the gift intended to send a message of intolerance,'' she wrote. ''Steve and I strongly oppose discrimination of any kind.''

The academy will use the money for a new building, scholarships for needy students and technological training.

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