A Christian school in the US state of Louisiana has been criticised for allegedly denying enrolment to a five-year-old girl because of her lesbian parents.
According to Emily Parker, she and her partner Jennie were called into a meeting with school officials at the Bible Baptist Academy (BBA) in DeQuincy to be told they could not take her daughter in because same-sex marriage did not follow the teachings of the school.
Emily Parker wrote on Facebook: "BIBLE BABTIST ACADEMY is a disappointment. Calling me and Jennie Parker in for a meeting TWO days before school starts to tell us that they cannot educate our child due to the fact that we are a married same-sex couple."
The couple was also told that as a Christian school, her daughter would be taught that marriage is between a man and a women.
"You know what you just taught my daughter? How truly judgmental your church is. How unforgiving and unrelenting you are," Emily Parker continued.
The Parkers have recently adopted Zoey, who is Jennie's niece, after the girl's father died in September 2020 following a work incident.
The couple has been married since 2016.
Responding to the allegations, the school said it is committed to "instructing and living in accordance with the teachings of Scripture" and to "provide an environment that is consistent with the beliefs that we hold".
In a statement published on its website, it said: "We believe that the Bible teaches that every life has value and that there is dignity in all of us because we have been created in the image of God. The Bible also teaches us to love everyone with the love of God despite their personal choices. We strive to teach this to the students who attend. We encourage them to show love and compassion to everyone.
"We feel deeply that our first obligation is to God and being faithful to Him. There are times where our commitment to upholding our Christian values will not line up with the values of other people.
"This should not be interpreted that we have any hatred or malice toward them. We are just as committed to loving all people as we are to holding to Bible principles that people may not agree with or may not understand," it concluded.
Since Emily Parker wrote about it on her Facebook page, thousands have come out in support of the couple and have received several offers from other local Christian schools for Zoey to study there.
"I am upset and demanding justice for my little girl for what BBA has done. Yet, I am so grateful. I am thankful! Beyond measure! They have ushered us into the arms of our supportive community. We have been given the chance to open up HUGE opportunities for Zoey.
She will officially be attending Hamilton Christian Academy this year. And hopefully for years to follow!"
Premier has contacted the school for comment.