School Choice & Charters

Catholic Officials Back Gay Parents

By Mary Ann Zehr — January 11, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, Calif., is backing the decision of a Catholic school in Costa Mesa to continue enrolling two sons of a gay couple despite opposition from some parents of other students at the school.

After 18 parents complained in a letter to St. John the Baptist School about its admission of two boys who are being raised by two gay men, the 560-student K-8 school issued a policy statement saying: “The personal family background of a student does not constitute an absolute obstacle to enrollment in the school.”

Given the recent national attention to same-sex marriage, more religious schools may be compelled to clarify policies on enrollment of students from gay families, and of students who disclose their own homosexuality, said Burt Carney, the director for legal and legislative issues for the Association of Christian Schools International, in Colorado Springs, Colo. “Where things were quiet in the past, they’re being ratcheted up because people are pushing the envelope,” he said.

Claire M. Helm, the vice president of operations for the National Catholic Educational Association, based in Washington, said she hadn’t heard before of a controversy about whether the children of gay couples should be enrolled at a Catholic school. She said it would be “sad” if a Catholic school shut out a gay student or the children of gay parents.

The parents who objected to the two boys’ enrollment at St. John the Baptist requested in their letter that the school require all students’ parents to sign a covenant of compliance with Catholic teachings, said the Rev. Gerald M. Horan, the superintendent of schools for the diocese, which is located in Orange County.

“If you go down the road of saying the moral choices of the parents determine the eligibility of the student in our programs, you have to be universal and fair about applying that,” Father Horan said. It wouldn’t make sense to exclude the children of couples who have disobeyed the church’s teachings in ways other than practicing homosexuality, such as by using birth control or not getting married, he added.

An attempt to obtain a copy of the letter or a comment from a parent who signed it was unsuccessful.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Tracker Which States Have Private School Choice?
Education savings accounts, voucher, and tax-credit scholarships are growing. This tracker keeps tabs on them so you don't have to.
School Choice & Charters Opinion What's the State of Charter Schools Today?
Even though there's momentum behind the charter school movement, charters face many of the same challenges as traditional public schools.
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters As Private School Choice Grows, Critics Push for More Guardrails
Calls are growing for more scrutiny over where state funds for private school choice go and how students are faring in the classroom.
7 min read
Illustration of completed tasks, accomplishment, finished checklist, achievement or project progression concept. Person holding pencil tick all completed task checkbox.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
School Choice & Charters How a District Hopes to Save an ESSER-Funded Program
As a one-time infusion of federal funding expires, districts are searching for creative ways to keep programs they funded with it running.
6 min read
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020.
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020. In Montana, a district hopes to save a virtual instruction program by converting it into a charter school.
Nam Y. Huh/AP