A Minnesota Catholic high school
student wants to start a gay club after officials deleted his
editorial critical of the church's stance on gay marriage, the Star
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.)
Sean Simonson's op-ed titled Life As
A Gay Teenager was removed after it sparked heated debate online.
“You fear looking the wrong way in
the locker room and offending someone,” Simonson, the editor of the
student-run newspaper The Knight Errand, 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.”
The 17-year-old is now backing the
creation of a gay-straight alliance at the Catholic school.
“The goals are not to indoctrinate or
push any agenda other than acceptance,” Simonson told the paper.
“I just think that, especially in high school, it's a very
difficult time to go through, and being gay doesn't make it any
easier. They need people to support them.”
Simonson said he's met with school
officials to discuss the idea, but didn't sound optimistic.
“It's a difficult thing, as this has
shown, at a Catholic school,” he said.