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School Won't Admit Boy With Two Moms

By Madeline Holler |

A Massachusetts boy won’t be attending St. Paul Elementary School in Hingham after all. His application for third-grade at the Catholic school was rescinded during a conference call between Principal Cynthia Duggan, the parish priest, the Rev. James Rafferty, and the boy’s parents.

Rafferty told the boys mom, who was not identified in the NY Times story, that her relationship with the boy’s other mother ”was in discord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

The Mass. family isn’t the first to be booted from Catholic school in the U.S. based solely on the fact that his parents are lesbians. A couple of months ago a Colorado child was also banned from enrolling in a U.S. Catholic school.

The boys mother isn’t surprised by discrimination — she’s experienced it plenty. But she says she’s surprised the school is taking out their prejudices against her son. She also said she was told by the principal that teachers weren’t prepared to answer questions her son might have, since the school’s marriage education conflicts with what he sees in his family.

Of course, the mothers knew the church’s stance against gay marriage. But she says they didn’t think that wouldn’t deny her son a spot at their school. After all, children of divorce are allowed to attend, and divorce, like gay relationships, aren’t recognized by the church either.

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “School Won't Admit Boy With Two Moms

  1. Dan Graur says:

    Why would a mother want to send her son to a school run by pedophiles is beyond me. I mean, men in dresses who take advantage of children is GOOD, and two devoted mothers is BAD. How Republican.

  2. [...] least that’s the story coming out of the Boston Archdiocese today, as one lesbian mom (speaking on condition of anonymity because she wanted to protect her [...]

  3. [...] least that’s the story coming out of the Boston Archdiocese today, as one lesbian mom (speaking on condition of anonymity because she wanted to protect her [...]

  4. PlumbLucky says:

    There are exceptions made in the church though, for some cases of divorce (I do realize that most won’t fall into these exceptions; just stating that its not a good blanket statement to make in comparison). There aren’t any made for homosexuals of which I’m aware, other than “if you are, be celibate” (summary, not a direct quote).

  5. jenny tries too hard says:

    It’s quite possible and likely that divorced parents are contrite and have repented the sin, and are looking to move forward in a righteous life. A pair of lesbians living together have not repented the sin (which, I know, they don’t consider a sin, but the Church does) and are putting themselves in the occasion of sin every day. And, there are reasons for divorce considered acceptable by the Church.

  6. Manjari says:

    This is discrimination, and it should be illegal. I’m so sick of religion being an excuse for all kinds of bad behavior (like letting your kid die from lack of medical care while you pray).

  7. jenny tries too hard says:

    This is not even the tiniest bit like refusing medical treatment. This is a private organization running a private school, and it can use whatever criteria it likes to determine membership or student body. If I am not allowed to enrolled my kid in a Jewish, Muslim, Baptist, or Atheist school because I don’t follow the tenets of those faiths or lifestyles, that’s fine with me, too.

  8. Courtney says:

    No, there really isn’t anything wrong with what they are doing. It’s a private school and they have the right to their beliefs. However, this type of stance, along with many, many others, is why people in this country have lost all respect and reverence for the Catholic church. There are many good and intelligent Catholics out there, but the Catholic Church, as an organization, is ridiculously irrelevant even to most of their constituents’ lives.

  9. Manjari says:

    No, I know it’s not like refusing medical care. I was just mentioning another awful thing that people do in the name of religion. I am just not a fan of religion because of stuff like this.
    I know it’s a private organization, but I don’t think they should be allowed to discriminate. If the school refused admission to kids based on skin color, would that be ok? I do get that they have the right to do this, I just wish they didn’t.

  10. Louise says:

    Yeah, this is a private school…they can decide which kids to accept and not accept.

    The Catholic college at which I teach (which has several gay faculty and staff members) has an elementary school affiliated with it, and there are several children of same-sex parents. So this situation is not universal among Catholic schools…

  11. Louise says:

    I wanted to add that I don’t think I’d be comfortable sending my child to a school that discriminated in this way…so while the school is certainly within their rights, it does seem short-sighted.

  12. Ray says:

    Theres is nothing wrong with them denying this child a education there.They are a private orgnaization and reserve that right.Its much like local clubs that allow smoking when ordinary bars do not.If we allow the government to step in and make the rules next we will have people crying they cant go to clubs because of the smoke.This is when we lose whatever we have as a freedom.This is where the government steps in to deny us any freedom.Its like the kid with the firecracker who decides to light it in his hand and blow his fingers off.Then states ban them because of one idiot.These parents are that idiot that takes away a private organizations rights.And then that allows the us to bend the constitution however they like.

    Nobody told this kids parents to be gay and no one told them to enroll there kid here.Theres plenty of public schools go away plain and simple.
    Stop trying to make news

  13. [...] the superintendent of parochial schools in Hingham, MA says she’ll help the 3rd grader who who was banned from attending St. Paul Elementary School because of having lesbian parents find another Catholic [...]

  14. kelli915 says:

    The school is a private religious institution. It is THEIR right to choose which students to admit, and if they teach contrary to the child’s upbringing then it is probably in the best interest of the child NOT to attend. Anyone who doesn’t like their policy should not CHOOSE to apply for admission. It’s none of our business what the school chooses to do.

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