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Community Speaks Out After Catholic School Bans Kindergartner For Having Gay Parents

The community of Prairie Village, Kansas, reacted with outrage after St. Ann Catholic School denied enrollment to a kindergartner who is the child of a same-sex couple.

The Kansas City Star reports that “almost 1,000 people have signed a petition asking church leaders to reconsider.”

The petition is addressed to Archbishop Joseph Naumann and school Superintendent Kathy O’Hara.

It reads in part:

“Respectfully, we believe that the decision to deny a child of God access to such a wonderful community and education, based on the notion that his or her parent’s union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message.”

Sueann Douglas, the mother of a student in the school, told the press that many parents learned about the decision after the school’s pastor, Father Craig Maxim, sent a letter to parishoners saying he:

“…sought the advice of the archdiocese since as a parochial school we are subject to the guidance of the archdiocese on the application of church doctrine.”

Father Maxim told parents that the archdiocese “advised against admission” because the parents could not “model behaviors and attitudes consistent with the Church’s teachings.”

“This creates a conflict for those children and what is experienced at home.”

Maxim added:

“It also could become a source of confusion for other school children.”

This isn’t an opinion shared by many in the community let alone around the nation.

Many turned to social media to express their outrage and support.

The Kansas City Star Editorial Board issued a sharp rebuke of the decision.

They wrote:

“Does the school admit the children of parents who aren’t Catholic? Check. What about those who may have had vasectomies, undergone in vitro fertilization, or divorced and remarried without church annulment? Check, check and check.”

They added: 

“It’s also just reality that some heterosexual relationships that may appear ‘traditional’ on the surface can be anything but who knows whether this male-female couple has an agreement that girl- or boyfriends on the side are A-OK? Or if those couples entered into marriages of convenience for reasons of inheritance, citizenship or social status? The school might see parents’ genders, but it can’t look inside their hearts — or their home lives.”

In a statement to the newspaper, Superintendent O’Hara said that the “church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society. Catholic doctrine recognizes marriage “as a sacrament entered into between a man and woman.”

She added:

“The Church teaches that individuals with same sex attraction should be treated with dignity. However, the challenge regarding same sex couples and our Catholic schools is that same sex parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes regarding marriage and sexual morality consistent with essential components of the Church’s teachings.”

The kindergartner’s family has chosen to remain anonymous and has not responded to requests for comment.