A Minnesota Catholic high school has
deleted a gay teen's editorial calling for increased gay rights,
including marriage, Minnesota
Public Radio reported.
Officials at Benilde-St. Margaret's in
St. Louis Park, Minnesota deleted two student editorials that
criticized an anti-gay marriage DVD produced by Minnesota's Catholic
bishops. The DVDs were distributed to parishioners prior to Election
Day, November 2, and called on Catholic voters to reject pro-gay
marriage lawmakers. (Minnesota
voters did overwhelmingly vote for Republican candidates.)
The student-run newspaper The Knight
Errant published two editorials along with a story about the
bishop's Preserving Marriage in Minnesota DVD last Thursday.
But both editorials were removed from the paper's website just days
One editorial, written in part by
senior Bernardo Vigil, the paper's arts and entertainment editor,
criticized the bishop's stance on the issue.
Editor Sean Simonson's op-ed titled
Life As A Gay Teenager sparked a heated debate online.
“You fear looking the wrong way in
the locker room and offending someone,” Simonson wrote.
“Politicians are allowed to debate your right to marry the person
you love, or your right to be protected from hate crimes under the
law. Your faith preaches your exclusion – or damnation. And no
one does anything to stop it.”
The editorials – and the comments
they inspired – were removed and replaced with an explanation from
Principal Sue Skinner: “While lively debate and discussion clearly
has its place in a Catholic school, this particular discussion is not
appropriate because the level of intensity has created an unsafe
environment for students. As importantly, the articles and ensuing
online postings have created confusion about Church teachings.”
Vigil told alternative
weekly City Pages that several students were protesting
the decision by wearing rainbow clothing to school.
“The people who said it was
inappropriate for us to publish these stories are the same people who
are perpetuating an atmosphere of homophobia on campus, so caving to
the calls for censorship is basically showing solidarity with the
view that homophobia is okay.”
“The articles need to go back
online,” Vigil added.