Protesters Rally as Child of Lesbian is Denied Enrollment at Catholic Kindergarten
Filed under: In The News
A preschooler at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Boulder, Colo., is not being allowed to enroll in the school's kindergarten program next year.
Her parents are lesbians.
Allowing the children of same-sex parents to enroll in Catholic schools violates a standing policy of the Archdiocese of Denver. Archdiocese officials ruled against the girl's enrollment last week.
This doesn't sit well with many community members who protested before Sunday mass at the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, the church that operates the school, the Denver Post reports.
According to the Post, parishioners and protesters exchanged smiles and waves. Parishioners later came out with donuts for the protesters.
The donuts may have warmed the protesters' hearts, but they didn't soften their feelings about the Archdiocese's decision.
"It's clear if they only accept students with perfect parents, they would have almost nobody," Beth Osnes, an organizer for the protest, tells the Post. "I know they have the right to, but why would they want to? "
Inside the church, Father William Breslin addressed the issue in his sermon, the Post reports. He also posted his comments on his blog.
"If a child of gay parents comes to our school, and we teach that gay marriage is against the will of God, then the child will think that we are saying their parents are bad," Breslin writes on his blog. "We don't want to put any child in that tough position."
The student is in the school's preschool program and will be allowed to finish the year, Jeanette DeMelo, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, tells the newspaper.
DeMelo adds school officials don't ask questions about sexual orientation during enrollment, but once they found out, they had to address it as a matter of policy.
"We're not trying to weed out people," DeMelo tells the Post. "But when they can't agree with our Catholic philosophy, it really makes it difficult to be a strong part of the school community; it's a difficult situation."
The issue was not as difficult for protesters.
"It's not the teachings of Jesus. We are all created equal," Joellen Raderstorf of Boulder tells the Post.
Osnes tells the newspaper she was the youngest of 10 children in a big Catholic family.
"One of my much older sisters was gay," she tells the Post, adding that her sister died after experiencing a lot of pain from being marginalized for being gay.
"We just don't want to see them suffering anymore," Osnes tells the Post.
Related: Lesbian Teen Banned From Yearbook
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