Kansas Catholic school bans child of gay parents
A Kansas Catholic school has rejected the application of a child whose parents are gay, causing controversy in the community.
According to The Kansas City Star, local pastor Father Craig J. Maxim addressed the school’s families and staff in a letter last month, mentioning he had listened to their concerns and sought counsel from his superiors at the Archdiocese of Kansas City.
Father Maxim said he was told “same-sex unions are not in conformance with the Church’s teaching on sacramental marriage,” and therefore the child of gay parents could not be admitted to the Kansas Catholic school.
The St. Ann Catholic School’s decision to turn down a child from its kindergartener programme because his parents are in a same-sex union prompted as many as 1,000 concerned members of the community to sign a letter to the Diocese and the school asking to “prayerfully reconsider” their decision, The Kansas City Star reported.
The Kansas Catholic school decision “lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message,” community members stated in a letter to the Diocese.
“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,” the letter, dated March 1, read.
In their letter, the community members pointed out that the children of other families that are not strictly in conformance with the Church’s teachings—including divorces, remarriage without approved annulment and IVFs—were also attending the Kansas Catholic school and that the exclusion of a peer caused confusion among the pupils.
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They also noted that the school accepted children of non-Catholic families, and wondered what makes some types of families more acceptable than others.
“We respectfully, ask you to consider why non-conformity to some of the Church’s teachings rise to the level of refusing admission to children, while others do not.”
Kansas is one of 28 states ‘lacking discrimination protection for LGBT+ people’
Discrimination against LGBT+ children, children of LGBT+ families and LGBT+ staff is permitted in a number of states under the context of religious freedoms.
Second Lady Karen Pence provoked outrage in January when it emerged she would return to teach at the Immanuel Christian School in Virginia, which bans LGBT+ students and staff.
Along with Kansas, Virginia is one of 28 states that, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s State Equality Index, lacks discrimination protections for LGBT+ people.
Defending his wife, Vice President Mike Pence called criticism of his wife Karen’s decision to teach in a school that bans LGBT+ students and staff “deeply offensive” to Christian beliefs, and avoided the topic of LGBT+ discrimination entirely.