Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Will Gays Be OK in Bush's Faith-Based Funding Plan?

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Will Gays Be OK in Bush's Faith-Based Funding Plan?

Article excerpt

When Alicia Pedreira started work at the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children in 1998, she expected to do her job, and some good, as a children's therapist supervisor. But when the state-funded agency fired her seven months later because, it said, her homosexuality was "contrary to [its] core values," she believed the group had crossed the line between church and state. She and the American Civil Liberties Union sued, and their case is pending in federal court.

As the debate heats up over George W. Bush's proposal to fund church-run social service programs, opponents say Pedreira's story illustrates the perils of the plan. "We think the government is paying people to preach. Proselytization will be the price of service," said Matt Coles, director of the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project.

Bush set the plan in motion by signing two executive orders on January 29. The first created a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The second established similar offices in the attorney general's office as well as the four other departments. …

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