A lesbian couple in South Carolina say they were discriminated against after a priest denied their kids admission to a Catholic school.

The women, who have been married since 2009, applied for their kids to attend St. Francis Catholic School in Hilton Head Island.

After being rejected by email, they spoke with the school’s pastor by phone who allegedly told her the application was denied “because [they’re] homosexual”, The Island Packet reported.

“If we admit your children, it will send a bad message to the other families.”

The school stated that they rejected the couple’s children not because of their parents’ sexuality but because they are in a same-sex marriage, which is kind of the same thing.

“We reaffirm the dignity of all human beings, regardless of their beliefs. At the same time, our Catholic schools exist not only to promote academic excellence, but also to build a community of faith and prayer,” wrote Reverend Mike Oenbrink of St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church.

“Based on Biblical and traditional teachings, we believe that God wills marriage to be a vowed, loving union between a man and a woman.

“We celebrate such a union as a Sacrament and, after prayerful deliberation, I reserve the right to admit to our parish school families which actively support that belief.”

The Diocese said they don’t have a parish-wide policy on the topic, and that such decisions were left to the schools’ pastors.

The couple said they were looking for an alternative to their kids’ current school and that friends encouraged them to apply to St. Francis.

They also said that when they toured the school, its principal told them their marriage wouldn’t be an obstacle.

“My children are being banned because of who I am. This is discrimination. Why punish my children for my choices?”

Even though support for same-sex marriage only continues to rise in the U.S. since its legalisation, instances of discrimination such as these are still occurring.

In February, a teacher at a Catholic school in Florida was fired just days after she married her wife.

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