NJ church forces school to cover up 'obscene' LGBT Pride mural

David Caplan
May 24, 2019 - 1:47 pm

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HACKENSACK, N.J. (1010 WINS) — A Hackensack charter middle school, which is housed in a building owned by a church, was forced to paint over an LGBT Pride mural after the church deemed the art as "obscene."

"So...my school’s owned by a Catholic Church and they want me to take down my Keith Haring mural that supports the LGBT community" tweeted the student, 16, who did not want to be identified. "They think it's inappropriate and wrong for a school setting. I'm heartbroken and I really never thought this could actually happen. Please help."

She added, "This school is infringing on my rights just as much as the church now. A public school is complicit in discrimination."

Rev. Paul Prevosto, pastor of Holy Trinity Church, said he first learned of the mural from parishioners  because of a depiction of male figures that he believes is "obscene." It showed abstract figures with interlocking circle and arrow symbols that represent the male gender.

"It was offensive," Prevosto said about the mural, adding that he asked the school "to take care of it," according to NorthJersey.com.

The school's hands were tied since a lease agreement for the school includes a stipulation about Catholic values: "Due to the Catholic nature of the Landlord, Tenant promises to conduct no affairs or establish any organizations that would be contrary to its Catholic moral values, ethics and faith."

The New Jersey Department of Education said it was looking into the issue and declined comment about whether any state policies may have been violated.

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