THE WATER COOLER
As reported by the American-Statesman’s Julie Chang, the Austin Independent School District is considering limiting the use of its Performing Arts Center by outside entities amid protests by LGBT activists who say the district is renting the facility to a church that opposes gay marriage. Georgetown-based Celebration Church has been holding services at the performing arts facility under a short-term agreement with the school district. The church’s website referenced Bible verses that listed homosexuality, bisexuality and disagreeing with one’s biological sex as sinful; the website no longer contains those references. “I’m not in favor of renting to any entity that doesn’t support our values ... and that’s full inclusion of our LGBTQ community,” said school board Trustee Ann Teich, who represents the Mueller area. “We have to be careful. We can’t exclude religious groups,” Teich said. “If an organization doesn’t support the district’s values, then I would say we are within our rights to not let that organization rent our facilities.”
This is really troubling. The idea that AISD might refuse to rent to an organization for following the historic tenets of that organization’s faith is not good. And in Austin where real estate is so expensive and renting is the only option for many churches. This a big deal.
All religions should be banned from AISD facilities regardless of historic tenets.
Regis Jacob Norris:
Why exactly should churches be banned from renting a taxpayer-paid building?
How about Ms. Teich enumerating all the values of AISD. What are they?
Judy Jude Thompson:
Charge them double. Churches should be paying taxes and they are not.
I’m just here to laugh at all the “Facebook lawyers” who claim to know how constitutional law works.
The Austin school district’s Performing Arts Center is being rented out by Celebration Church of Georgetown, which is opposed to gay marriage. Some trustees have objected.