Hundreds of parents are protesting a Catholic school's decision to deny enrollment to a kindergartner who is the child of a same-sex couple.

St. Ann Catholic Church in Prairie Village, Kansas has been forced to defend its decision after nearly 1,000 people signed a petition asking church leaders to reconsider their decision, The Kansas City Star reported.

“Respectfully, we believe that the decision to deny a child of God access to such a wonderful community and education, based on the notion that his or her parent’s union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message,” the petition states.

Kathy O'Hara, the school's superintendent, defended the church's decision, telling The Star that the “church's teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society” and that Catholic doctrine recognizes marriage “as a sacrament entered into between a man and woman.”

“[S]ame sex parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes regarding marriage and sexual morality consistent with essential components of the Church's teachings,” she added.

In their petition, parents pointed out that the school accepts students who are not Catholic.

“We ask you to consider the many ways that other modern marriages may be inconsistent with the Church's teaching on Sacramental marriage (i.e. vasectomy, IVF, divorce, and remarriage without approved annulment). Further, St. Ann does accept non-Catholic children and families into our school. Presumably, these families are not in marriages that are conformant to the teachings of the Church. We respectfully ask you to consider why non-conformity to some of the Church's teachings rise to the level of refusing admission to children, while others do not,” the petition reads.

The gay couple has not spoken publicly.