It’s graduation season, but some Twin Cities students are not happy with the location of their ceremony. According to CBS News, Grace Church in Eden Prairie has hosted hundreds of high school graduations over the years, including those of Chaska High School.
But this year, some Chaska students want the graduation ceremony moved because of the church’s position on divorce and LGBTQ+ rights.
Grace Church’s website explains that they believe marriage to be a “covenant between a biological male and biological female” and divorce to be “like many other human failures . . . a consequence of sin.”
A Change.org petition started by Eli Frost, has about 500 signatures asking that the graduation ceremony be moved.
“Grace Church has one of the more regressive views systems of all churches in the state,” Frost said at a school board meeting last month.
Graduating Chaska senior Jay Jacobsen also spoke at the meeting, telling the board he plans to skip the graduation.
“It’s a public institution that is holding their graduation at a church that doesn’t celebrate all kinds of people,” Jacobson, who is a transgender man, said. The district released a statement saying that the “district and board care deeply about the experience of every one of our students.”
“The use of the Grace facility in no way implies endorsement or support of their beliefs,” the district said. The church released its own statement saying “as a Christian church, we do affirm the teaching of the Bible regarding gender, marriage and divorce. But we do not discriminate against anyone. We welcome everyone.”