After a Catholic elementary school was recently corrected by the Boston archdiocese for canceling the admission of an 8-year-old student whose parents are a lesbian couple, a debate has ensued over the proper response of Christian schools to the admittance of children with same-sex couple parents.
Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, argued on Friday that Christian schools have “every right to exclude from the school community those who seek to undermine their religious values.”
Earlier this week, St. Paul Catholic elementary school in Hingham, Massachusetts, withdrew admission for the upcoming year to an 8-year-old whose parents are a lesbian couple. Principal Cynthia Duggen and parish priest Fr. James Rafferty told one of the women during a conference call that the boy could not attend as the parents' relationship “was in discord with the teachings of the Catholic Church” which state that marriage can only take place between one man and one woman.
However, in a statement on Thursday, Dr. Mary Grassa O'Neill, superintendent of Catholic schools in Boston, countered St. Paul's decision, saying that the “Archdiocese does not prohibit children of same sex parents from attending Catholic schools.”
“We will work in the coming weeks to develop a policy to eliminate any misunderstandings in the future,” she noted.
In response to the situation, Sprigg said in a statement Friday that “is well established that the freedom of association includes the freedom of private organizations not to associate with those who do not share the goals of the organization.”
“This is especially true for religious organizations,” he added, “which have every right to exclude people whose beliefs or lifestyle contradict the moral and theological teachings of that organization.”
“Many Christian schools do not consider themselves to be in a relationship with the student alone, but with the student's parents as well, and they have every right to exclude from the school community those who seek to undermine their religious values.”