A Maryland mom said her son's private Christian school discriminated against her and her ex-wife because of their sexual orientation.
Last May, Tiana Hawkins and her ex-wife, Annissia, got an invitation for a Mother’s Day tea from their 7-year-old son’s private school, the National Christian Academy, in Fort Washington.
"They specified on the invitation only one mother or one mother figure allowed per child. And so, since we have two moms in our family, of course, that was cause for concern for us," Hawkins said.
After bringing up the issue with the school’s principal, Andrew Stewart, they were still denied to both attend the event. Hawkins said they felt singled out because they are lesbians.
“I couldn’t believe that after we have been supporting and serving in this school for three years, that we would still be treated that way,” Hawkins said.
However, the school says it did not treat them differently.
“We didn't discriminate against them,” Principal Andrew Stewart told News4. “It was closed off to everyone like aunts and grandmothers that wanted to attend because we didn't have the budget at the time, but we made a way in the end for everyone to attend.”
Hawkins and her family are now the face of an ACLU-sponsored bill in the Maryland House that would allow families to sue private schools for alleged discrimination.
Opponents of the bill say people should choose schools that align with their values.
"What I would say to those who say, 'Why would you pick a Christian school?' is, well, because we’re Christians. We believe in Jesus. We believe in the love of Christ, and we believe it should be extended to all," Hawkins said.