A teenage Catholic boy in Minnesota has been banned from confirmation after he posted a photograph on Facebook urging people to vote for equal marriage rights. He will only be allowed to take part in the rite if he denounces his support for equality.

Lennon Cihak defaced an anti-equality sign, crossing out the words ‘Vote Yes’ and replacing them with ‘Vote No’ to an attempt to pass a constitutional amendment to ban gay couples marrying. He posted a photograph of the sign on Facebook and it was spotted by his local priest, Rev Gary LaMoine.

The boy’s mother, Shana told, local newspaper, the Forum that she was shocked to hear of the decision after the priest called her into a private conversation. She told the newspaper, “He said ‘I cannot, cannot confirm him. Father would not confirm him, and they won’t confirm him unless he changes his views.” She also claimed that the family have been denied Holy Communion in the parish.

Rev LaMoine says: “They’re my parishioners, and so when the press comes after me from different points of view and asks me all types of questions about their situation, I hesitate very much because I owe them, I owe that family confidentiality,” he said.

The Forum reports that the local bishop, Michael Hoeppner has told the family that if their son publicly denounces his support of equality, he will be confirmed.

Last week, Minnesota voted down Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being a union solely between a man and a woman.