WASHINGTON D.C. (WLNS) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that religious schools cannot be excluded from a state tuition program in Maine.
It’s a landmark decision, that experts say will bring about change.
Before today the state of Maine paid the tuition for some students as long as they weren’t religious schools.
First Liberty Attorney Lea Patterson says that rule violated the first amendment.
“It’s that religious exclusion that the Supreme Court held is penalizing religion,” Patterson said.
Patterson says the newly issued opinion will prevent discrimination.
“The state’s not choosing where that money goes, it’s based on the parent’s choice and the state really has no interest in excluding religious participants from that program. That’s the real discrimination going on there,” said Patterson.
Americans United CEO Rachel Laser is disappointed by the ruling because she says the religious schools are the ones that discriminate
“They won’t admit LGBTQ kids, kids with LGBTQ parents, they expel kids that won’t renounce their LGBTQ identity and seek conversion therapy, and they teach against the Muslim religion,” said Laser.
Mary Kusler with the National Education Association says the ruling will hurt students.
“It is going to drain resources out of our schools that need it the most. Our schools that engage with every student no matter what their background is,” Kusler said.