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article imageLesbians' preschool child banned from Colorado school Special

By KJ Mullins     Mar 9, 2010 in World
Boulder - A Denver preschool girl has been refused a place in a Catholic kindergarten because her parents are lesbians. Her older sibling is also being denied a place in the first grade at the same school.
The little girl is currently enrolled at the Catholic school connected to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Boulder. Father Bill Breslin wants her gone.
"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," Fr. Breslin said in a sermon.
"We don't want to put any child in that tough position -- nor do we want to put the parents, or the teachers, at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why would good parents want their children to learn something they don't believe in? It doesn't make sense. There are so many schools in Boulder that see the meaning of sexuality in an entirely different way than the Catholic Church does. Why not send their child there?"
According to the school website Sacred Heart of Jesus's non-discrimination policy is:
The elementary and secondary Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Denver, under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Charles Chaput and at the direction of Mr. Richard Thompson, Acting Superintendent of Catholic Schools, state that all of their Catholic schools admit students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the schools. Furthermore, Archdiocesan schools admit handicapped students in accordance with Archdiocesan Policy No. 2000 concerning student admission. These schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, age, handicap, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of their educational policies, employment practices, scholarship and loan programs, and athletics or other school administered programs.
The tuition information lists "other" for those not actively affiliated with a Catholic Church.
Efforts to contact the church were unanswered.
The Archdiocese of Denver's website has a statement by Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput on the matter:
The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are “bad,” or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Terry Mischel of DignityUSA, a group for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Catholics, said during a phone interview that his group is concerned about the issue.
"The parents attend the church. This has nothing to do with the child's actions. This move is very discriminatory against the children. Very sad."
The girl is being allowed to finish the preschool year, but will not be allowed to attend kindergarten next year.
"The sad thing is this takes a non-pastoral approach on how gay and lesbians' children are to be treated," Mischel added.
In Toronto, the Catholic Schools are run in part with the Toronto School Board.
Toronto Pride Executive Director Tracey Sandilands said during a phone interview that "it's a real shame for any child to be denied an education because of their parent's sexual orientation."
Sandilands expressed that in the U.S. human rights have not caught up to Canada when it comes to gay and lesbian parents.
"It's high time that the US figure out what human rights are all about," Sandilands said.
Commenting on the church's role on teaching compassion, Sandilands said that "this act goes against everything that the church preaches. This is completely unreasonable."
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