Leaders of DignityUSA join Catholic families in Boulder, Colorado in expressing extreme disappointment that the young child of lesbian parents has become the Archdiocese's latest target in its attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender people. The child has been barred from returning to Sacred Heart of Jesus School because of her parents' sexual orientation.
"The Archdiocese of Denver has acted very unjustly in singling out this child for exclusion," said DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke. "Until every students' parents are tested on Catholic teaching, this action by Catholic officials cannot be understood as anything other than discrimination on the back of a child. At a tender age, this child has learned that Catholic officials are willing to inflict pain on children and families. The public is learning that the Catholic hierarchy is willing to place this on the shoulders of children-and then defend such heartlessness by saying they are just following the rules and that Catholics are being persecuted for their beliefs.
"The Archdiocese has chosen to selectively enforce Catholic rules about families while trampling on core Catholic values of compassion, equality, and love. This is tragic for the family involved, and for all who turn to Church officials for moral guidance," added Duddy-Burke.
"It is an inspiration that so many families from the school and the community turned out to protest the school's decision. They know, like every parent knows, that loving families come in many forms, and that accepting all of our children-with all of their differences--is a core value of both family and church. These parents embody the way that most Catholics feel. I applaud them for having the courage to be visible in challenging the Archdiocese's discrimination."
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"I am a Catholic mother who would like to have my children in Catholic school," Duddy-Burke said. "But, because I am lesbian, I feared that one day, after learning their prayers, the liturgy, and the principles of justice, service, and faith every day, they would come home with a note saying they couldn't come back because their mothers are lesbian. It deeply pains me to see another family suffering through what we feared. I sincerely hope they find a school that supports their family, and provides the good things they want for their child."