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Tax Credits for Scholarships Raise Questions about Gay Discrimination at Christian Schools

Controversy grows in Georgia after report alleges that taxpayer money supports schools banning gay students.

A popular tax-credit program that funds scholarships for qualifying children to attend religious schools is causing controversy in Georgia after the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) published a report detailing the policies toward gays and lesbians of many private Christian schools that benefit under the program.

Such programs, which are growing, have previously faced controversy but been found constitutional. However, some have been accused of abusing the spirit vs. the letter of such laws.

According to the 17-page report, up to half of the participating schools–115 in all–employ anti-homosexuality policies or practices, and some even ban gay and lesbian students from attending. Steve Suitts, vice president of SEF and the author of the report, told the New York Times that the problem is public money "being spent by private educational institutions that 'punish, denounce and even demonize students in the name of religion solely because they are gay, state that they are homosexual, happen ...

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