Gay stepfather is NOT welcome to pick up his kid from Baptist school

Gay stepfather is told he is NOT welcome on campus to pick up his daughter from Baptist school after he goes to pick her up for the first time

  • Jose Ortega isn’t allowed to pick up his step-daughter up from school because he is gay 
  • Ortega shares a 10-year-old from his husband Don William’s first marriage  
  • Heart Cry Christian Academy Pastor allegedly told him he wasn’t welcome 

A gay stepfather has claimed the lead pastor of a Christian academy and church told him he could not pick up his daughter from school because  gay couples aren’t welcome.

Don Williams and Jose Ortega said they were confronted by Heart Cry Christian Academy Pastor Billy VanCamp when they went to collect their 10-year-old daughter’s Queen Creek city Baptist school in January. 

The child is from William’s first marriage.

The couple said the daughter’s mother enrolled her in the school, and they had no idea ‘homosexuality’ wasn’t allowed among parents.

Ortega claimed he was told by VanCamp that he was prohibited from picking up his step-daughter since he wasn’t a blood relative and was gay. 

‘He made it clear to us that people bring their kids to him to stay away from people like us,’ Ortega told AZ Central. 

Don Williams (right) and Jose Ortega (left) claimed they were confronted by Heart Cry Christian Academy Pastor Billy VanCamp and were told they aren’t welcome on campus 

Pastor Billy VanCamp supposedly pulled the men aside and told Jose Ortega he couldn’t pick his step-daughter up because he is gay and not a blood relative 

During the meeting, which occurred in a private space, the couple claimed they felt threatened. 

‘I said, “I’m still her stepdad, and as long as she is in my life and as long as she is attending the school, I’m going to be a part of it,”‘ Ortega said.  

‘And he said, “Well, you are not welcome here.” So, I was like, “Are you threatening me?” And he said, “Try me.” Clearly, he is threatening me, and, at that point, I felt very unsafe.’ 

Williams claims a school employee said if they would’ve known the child had gay dads, she wouldn’t have been eligible for enrollment.

‘Supposedly, as her father, I can pick her up and drop her off. I, supposedly, can come to any school event, but they have made it known that I am not welcomed at all.’ Williams said. 

‘They have made us feel completely uncomfortable and unsafe even going there.’ 

Representatives from Heart Cry Christian Academy weren’t immediately available to for a comment.

The couple moved to Arizona in September after their daughter’s mother relocated from California to the desert state. 

Williams fears his daughter will be taught anti-gay teachings that will turn her against him.

‘One of my fears is the fact that she’s in that school and they’re brainwashing her, and they’re telling her that it’s not OK for me to be me,’ Williams said.

The Christian academy is rooted in Southern Baptist beliefs and is connected to the Heart Cry Church (above). The school shares the same campus as the church 

The Christian academy is rooted in Southern Baptist beliefs and is connected to the Heart Cry Church where VanCamp is the lead pastor. 

Tuition to attend the school is $8,000 – but a public state program provides parents with education vouchers up to $7,999 to enroll their child in a private or charter school.

While it is unclear if Williams’ daughter is attending the school with the help of a voucher, an Arizona Department of Education representative told the AZ Central that issue is to be dealt with in court and the department will not be involved.

Lawyers further added that even if a publicly funded voucher was used to pay for the 10-year-old’s tuition, private institutions disregard the nondiscrimination law, according to the news outlet. 

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