Kentucky Churches Withhold $7 Million From Children’s Home to Force Anti-Gay Policies

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on


Kentucky churches withheld $7 million in donations from Sunrise Children’s Service because of the Service’s proposal to end its discriminatory policy against LGBT employees. Sunrise Children’s Service’s decision was due to its fears of losing government funding, which makes up 85% of its $27 million budget.

Bill Smithwick, former director of Sunrise Children’s Services, proposed last year that the home allow gay and lesbians employees. Unfortunately, Kentucky churches opposed the proposal and they chose to withhold their donations, which left Sunrise Children’s Services with a $7 million budget shortfall. Smithwick was forced to resign and the anti-gay policy remained in place.

Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood stated: “Now that our churches have confidence in the leadership of Sunrise and the direction of Sunrise, we’ll give them the opportunity to re-invest in this ministry to children.” However, this policy of discrimination leaves Sunrise at risk of losing future government funding. Somehow the needs of the children seem to have been lost in this controversy, and may be at risk if this continues.


David Edwards, “KY churches withhold $7 million from children’s home to force anti-gay policies,” The Raw Story, March 11, 2014,

Nigel Campbell,”Kentucky Churches Withhold $7 Million From Children’s Charity To Force Anti-Gay Policy,” Instinct Publishing, March 11, 2014,

Student Researcher: Huong Thi Thanh Le (San Francisco State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)