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Parents Barred From Volunteering At Kids' Game For Being Gay

Parents Barred From Volunteering At Kids' Game For Being Gay

Florence Baptist Temple in Kentucky

After enrolling three of their kids in a church-affiliated after-school program, a queer couple was told they couldn't volunteer at events because of their sexual orientation.

A gay couple in Kentucky says that after enrolling several of their children in after-school programs, they were approached and told that the parents could not volunteer at games because of their sexual orientation.

Three of Jesika and Ayanna McKinney’s six children joined Upward Bound programs at Florence Baptist Temple Church a little over a month ago. The couple had enrolled their kids in the activities partly because the Boone County Public Schools advertised the program, the Kentucky-Cincinnati Fox station WXIX reports.

“Friday night, we got a knock on our door around 6:30 p.m. with two men who were identified as leadership with the church,” Jesika told the station. “And they were asking my wife not to referee, and we couldn’t understand what happened.”

She asked, “Did we do something wrong?”

According to the McKinneys, the men represented Florence Baptist Temple and told them that because of the couple’s sexual orientation, they couldn’t serve as referees or in leadership positions.

“I looked at my wife, and I said, ‘Honey, it’s because we’re gay,’” Jesika told the outlet. “And he said, ‘Yes, that’s what it is. Unfortunately, it’s part of our church laws, and we have a duty to follow those church laws.’”

The couple says that the entire ordeal occurred in front of their kids, who were confused by the situation.

“What’s wrong with you and mommy being together?’” Jesika said their kids asked.

“It’s important for people to know they’re still living in the stone ages, per se,” Jesika said. “It’s 2023, and there are so many differences in the world, and we are striving to fight for those differences.”

By sharing their experience, the couple hope to protect other families from the same situation.

Their children are now enrolled in the Boone County Schools sports program. However, the parents told the news station that they would only consider programs outside of the school system offered by the YMCA.

Representatives for Florence Baptist Temple did not immediately return The Advocate’s request for comment.

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