THE WA­TER COOLER

Austin American-Statesman - - BALANCED VIEWS - FROM FACE­BOOK.COM/STATESMAN

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.”

Katey Mag­ill:

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.

Rick Bolton:

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?

Jim Ratz­man:

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.

Eva De­safia:

I’m just here to laugh at all the “Face­book lawyers” who claim to know how con­sti­tu­tional law works.

AISD

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.

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