Massachusetts School Denies Admission to Boy with Lesbian Moms

Like Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Boulder Colorado did to two children in early March, a Massachusetts elementary school has denied admission to a boy because he has lesbian parents, the AP reports:

Stpaul "The Massachusetts woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns about the effect of publicity on her son, said she planned to send the boy to third grade at St. Paul Elementary School in Hingham in the fall. But she said she learned her son's acceptance was rescinded during a conference call Monday with Principal Cynthia Duggan and the parish priest, the Rev. James Rafferty.
'I'm accustomed to discrimination, I suppose, at my age and my experience as a gay woman,' the mother said. 'But I didn't expect it against my child.'
Rafferty said her relationship 'was in discord with the teachings of the Catholic Church,' which holds marriage is only between a man and woman, the woman said.
She said Duggan told her teachers wouldn't be prepared to answer questions her son might have because the school's teachings about marriage conflict with what he sees in his family."

The Boston Archdiocese is reportedly investigating the situation.


  1. Chris says

    On the rbight side, the boy is probably a lot better off not to be going to a school that is homophobic like this school. Why would lgbt parents want to send their kids to schools like this anyways? I wouldn’t want to send my child to be taught at the feet of the likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robinson or others who would tell my child that two loving people of the same sex is an abomination.

  2. says

    No doubt this is very very very very very sad. However, I’ve yet to understand what people are surprised or appalled about. Religious organizations can, will and should exercise their religion.

    This is like me landing in Tehran and proposing marriage to a cleric at the baggage claim and wondering why he’s rejected me.

  3. TampaZeke says


  4. says

    @Chris – there are many gay catholics out there and many would like their children raised in the catholic faith. While personally, I would never, ever trust my child in the care of the Catholic church, we have to understand that LGBT people should have full equality – meaning we should be able to express our freedom of religion as well. So technically, if you think of it, this school is infringing on civil rights, but also on someone’s freedom of religion. If you think about it, right?

  5. Randy says

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to send my son to any catholic anything, school or otherwise. The boy will be much better off in public school learning about the whole world instead of going to a school that puts blinders on you. Plus, he doesn’t have to worry about being molested, not only by a priest, but by the whole catholic church.

  6. TANK says

    No…if it is a private school and doesn’t accept public funds, then those who run it have the right to religious freedom, and that’s freedom to discriminate. Even if same sex marriage were legalized nationally, for example, no church would be required to perform a same sex wedding ceremony just because a gay person desired it.

  7. Marty says

    My first instinct is to side with the school assuming they are a private religious institution. If it’s publicly funded then that’s a different issue.

  8. John in Boston says

    Hingham is a really nice suburb on Boston’s south shore. Beautiful ocean views. It’s 375 years old, founded in 1635. I live about 10 miles from it.

  9. GregV says

    There is probably “something wrong” with ALL of the parents sending their children to such a school, no matter what their orientation or the make-up of their family.
    But it sounds like these parents have just chosen to send him to another Catholic school. I don’t get people who seem to think they need to be connected o the idea of believing in “something” and raising their kid to believe in “something” is more crucial than the specifics of what that “something” is.
    I have known many, many, MANY people who consider themselves “Catholics” and virtually none who actually believe in anything that actually stands out as a tenet of Catholicism…. and yet they put money into the coffers on Sunday and often send their kids to schools where the teachers mostly pretend to believe in things (birth control is immoral, discrimination in marriage laws is okay, etc.) that even they think is BS.

  10. says

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, that gays need to start their own church (for those who support organized religion). Services could be led by ministers, priests, rabbi’s, etc. who have been excommunicated by their religion due to being gay and follow some of the practices of a specific religion, although not be affiliated with it. Even recruit clergy those who are sympathetic to the cause. Then start up a school for gay parents’ children. Just think, the gay community, under the guise of religious freedom, could also discriminate on who it would let into its school. I am sure in the gay community, we have some awesome teachers! It probably would become a premiere school with teaching and learning accolades, though it might be hard to start up and keep going without government assistance.

  11. Mike says

    Time to get another religion! Gay Catholics are like Jewish Nazis, Black KKK members or dare I say it … Gay Republicans! Why waste your life insisting to join a group of people who hate you. There are plenty of religions who accept gay people (and don’t mind when gay people actually have sex).

  12. says

    i don’t know why the hell anyone would send an innocent kid to a catholic school anyway. he’ll be better off in public school. hell, he’d be better off being home-schooled by a jellyfish.

  13. says

    CB: David Geffen could write a check for such a school tomorrow, and keep it running for the next 100 years without even noticing the drop in his wealth. Tim Gill could do it also.

  14. James says

    This is why Jesus was such a strong advocate of discrimination.
    It’s also why god invented the word ‘cunts’.

    Christianity is like communism. The intent is amazing, but the corruption in the hearts of it’s so called leaders render it useless.

  15. searunner says

    As a private school, St Paul Elementary School is free to discriminate as they wish. It is without question unfortunate, but not all that surprising.

    As a former Hanoverian (Go Indians!), I’m curious about where on the South Shore this couple lives. Many of the towns, Hingham in particular, have very good public schools.

  16. Danny says

    To those of you who comment every time a story like this pops up to ask why parents would ever want to send their child to a school like this, perhaps I can offer some insight. I’m a 24 year old gay man who was educated in Catholic schools through high school. I, like many Catholics, don’t believe in many positions the church takes on a wide assortment of issues. But I also get a lot out of the church, and am very thankful for my Catholic education. Catholic schools are not all about religion, they are also about character formation and instilling values that the church (and the families who send their children to these institutions) holds dear… values like faith and spirituality, community, and social justice. I’m not saying you can’t be taught these types of things at other schools. I’m quite sure you can. But I know that if I had to say what the overriding influence the Catholic church had on my education, it was that every day and every class was about developing who you are intellectually and spiritually, and how you can use your gifts, talents, knowledge and energy to help those around you.

    Of course we learned Catholic teachings as well- teachings I think most, if not all of us here would disagree with. But it wasn’t done in such a heavy handed way as you might think. The teachers clearly had to teach it a certain way, but in my experience they always opened up the classroom for open discussion. I come from a very conservative town with mostly conservative families, and you’d have been surprised how much push back students gave teachers on issues of homosexuality, abortion, women, etc…

    But again, in the end, it’s hard for me to remember what religion class was even like, 6 years down the road. As upset as I know I was once in awhile knowing how much I disagreed with what the teachers were saying, the impressions that have stayed with me of my school is much more positive and much more meaningful. And that is why I will not hesitate to send my children to Catholic schools someday.

    I hope that helps elucidate at least one person’s opinion on the matter. Sorry this was so long! It’s my first time commenting– but I always love reading what you all have to say on all of Andy’s posts :)

  17. Paul says

    This school is absolutely not free to “discriminate as they wish.” If they are offering a service to the public, anti discrimination laws specifically require that those services be available to everyone. If this school can chose to not serve a child with a gay mother, there is nothing stopping them from choosing to refuse service to a Chinese person, or for that matter, for the lunch counter down the street to refuse service to those Negroes.

  18. John in Boston says


    Hingham does have excellent public schools, it’s a wealthy town. But all of the nearby towns are pretty nice. Maybe they’re in Rockland or Dorchester, in which case I can understand why they’d send their kid to a private school. No sane people want to send their kids to Boston Public Schools aside from exam schools like Latin.

    People are asking why Catholic Schools: Because Catholic Schools have an excellent reputation and are often superior to comparable public schools outside of wealthy towns. I attended a Catholic HS (ALL BOYS!) for 2 years and we had a very diverse student body. Protestants, Jews, many Asians.

  19. John in Boston says

    My Catholic Schools, grammar and HS, weren’t preachy at all. We had religion and ethics classes, but we were taught about other faiths in an even-handed way in addition to Catholic teachings. I also had very explicit sex ed in Catholic HS., including discussion of homosexuality. It wasn’t snarky at all. Catholics and Catholic Clergy in general aren’t very preachy and rigid on day to day basis in the real world. My experience with clergy are most have a nuanced view of theology and teachings. It’s rare to come across fire and brimstone Catholic Clergy

    And oh yeah; Catholic boys are hot in those school uniforms. In HS, at the end of terms and summer vacation, we’d burn our white dress shirts, ties, and grey dress pants in a bonefire.

  20. stephen says

    I’m really still astonished that any gay person would fund the Katholic Khurch Kulture in any manner whatsoever… Hingham is a nice suburb w/ decent schools. If you don’t like the public schools, move over the town line to Duxbury or pay non-resident admission there.

    Ultimately, I think it’s time for some hOmos to start the bitchin’est, fantabulous Charter School EVA, so that all the kiddos are dying to go there. :)

    Ta dah!

  21. walter says

    isn’t boston where cardinal law and crew of pedophiles ran wild. who in their right mind would want to send a young boy into that group. cardinal law is still hiding behind the pope’s skirt in rome.lady rethink
    catholic education. these are the very same people who are telling you you are going to hell.

  22. James Stone says

    I am a “recovering” Catholic here. Why any gay person would give them one DIME is beyond me!! Last year they gave over $150,000 to defeat gay marriage in Maine while at the same time they are closing parishes all over the country for lack of money!!
    THIS Pope is HORRIBLE!!! He is vocally homophobic..and we all know about those types..right? I personally am so sick of self loathing closet cases who are so unhappy with their own life choices that they push to make gay people who are out and HAPPY…as miserable as themselves!!!
    I say the kid is the benefactor of this move. I am glad he will not have to sit on Father’s “lap!”

  23. Mike C. says

    Don’t see the huge deal about this. We should all agree that in order to help bolster the case of gay marriage (marriage equality), Catholic churches and religious institutions should not be forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies if it is against their principals. Likewise, they should be allowed to not admit students based on the same matter. This is not a public school, they are allowed to reject students based on a whole range of issues that might seem unfair to people

  24. Joseph says

    Hey gay parents! Wanna save yourself from a lot of wholly unnecessary stress?


    There. Problem solved. Quit whining.

  25. Bryan Harrison says

    Yes, yes, Catholicism is an appalling anti-gay, misogynistic, anti-knowledge cult. It also undermines civic law and provides asylum to heinous criminals, and is therefore – like every religion that claims “there is no higher law than God’s law – intrinsically anti-democratic.

    So what shall we call parents who knowingly send their child to be indoctrinated in this cult? Victims of discrimination? Or unfit parents?

    Obviously they’re both, but in our rush to sympathize with the parents, let’s not ignore their demonstrated lack of concern for the welfare of their child.

  26. Paul Zahn says

    I attended St Pauls School in Hingham, graduating in 1994. Sister Marie St. Barbera, the nun who was principal, was a horrible person. Father John Hanlon was accused and subsequently convicted of molesting many, many altar boys both at St Pauls and other churches over his 20 plus yrs as a priest. I was in 8th grade when he was arrested. I was also an altar boy under Hanlon. He never tried anything with me, but I saw a lot of wrestling and inappropriate touching happen with other altar boys. Instead of deal with the situation with the students during the press chaos, Sister Marie, along with the other teachers – Keating, O’Brien, etc. chose not to talk about it. Attending St Paul’s School was one of the worst experiences in my life. This child is blessed to not have to endure the horrible experience at St Paul’s School that I had to endure, especially as a gay male child. Perhaps they should check out Thayer Academy when he is of age….

  27. says

    Before people continue to say that this school is free to discriminate however it wishes, bear in mind it’s not ‘free’ to do so if it receives any public money. I kind of doubt that, at some level, it hasn’t received some kind of grant or perk or something or other from the state of federal government, especially in this day and age of the federal government giving aide through religious organizations.

    They may very well not, but bear in mind they could. Just sayin’.

  28. says

    @RAFA: Maybe the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto should expand and open churches in the U.S. Although I only skimmed their website, sounds like what is needed here in the U.S. Pull all the gay money out of these ‘standard’ organized churches.

  29. says

    First of all, it is the church’s – and thus the school’s – right to accept or reject whomever they want. I see no reason to be surprised or upset at this.

    As for why two lesbian moms would send their kids to Catholic school, I can think of a couple reasons: 1) Catholics, and esp Jesuits, are reknowned for high quality education standards. 2) As more than one person already stated above, some gays do still consider the Catholic Church their home and very much want their children brought up in that faith tradition. For the life of me, I don’t know why, when the Roman Catholic Church is known for all sorts of discrimination – as well as abusing young boys! – but it’s still a person’s right to choose where to educate their children.

  30. Disgusted American says

    …this lesbian needs to get a clue….as others have said STOP supporting an Institution that Discriminates….WHY do you send your kid to such a place? There are prvt diverse schools out there lady….your kid will be safer – away from priest clutches.

  31. David in Houston says

    As Homer Simpson once said, “No offence Apu, but when they were handing out religions you must have been out taking a whizz.” The same can be said for the lesbian mom’s choice of religion. You don’t pick a religion (or school) that discriminates against you. That’s kind of clue that they are going to teach your son that you are (fill in the blank with anti-gay rhetoric).

  32. lookyloo says

    Equality for gay parents notwithstanding: Again, anti-abortion people showing no interest or support for the child AFTER it’s born. It’s very telling that they are willing to ban an innocent child from their wonderful educational institution for who he ‘happens’ to have as parents.

  33. Art says

    What did the church’s left knee say to it’s right knee? Nothing .. They have never met! They are too busy diddling little boys and girls.

  34. LuckyBlueEyez says

    What’s wrong with this picture is that a church, who claims to be preaching the word of God, is denying a person the right to attend this school. People give to this church, funds from the public are taken in. This pick and choose persona is never blessed by God. All should be welcomed by any christian, as a real christian is a loving human being. There are fakes among us who claim to be a person of God, then spews hatred in their actions.

  35. LuckyBlueEyez says

    Hey gay people! Want equal rights? Fight for your rights and never give up until the discrimination stops. Black people fought and won by not giving up…so too shall we do the same, until haters are corrected for their evil deeds they try so hard to enforce. We need to knock that right off the age old pages and rewritten for the 21st century. Where one door is closed and locked, there is a window to be smashed and entered! Never give up …. force this type of idiotic action be abolished once and for all!

  36. LuckyBlueEyez says

    P.S. Church is a public place. We have a right to attend whichever church or school we please. We pay taxes and are citizens. With liberty and justice….FOR ALL! Never allow anyone to dictate what is our rights or where we are to go. Haters do not control our lives, the more they try, the harder we shall push our way through! Even if that means to walk over them to get there! BAM!

  37. Jerry6 says

    Man invented all the Gods we have had throughout history; Roman Gods, Greek Gods, Egyptian Gods, American Indian Gods, South American tribal Gods, The God of the Jews, The Muslim God, The various Gods of the Pacific Islands, to name just a few. And do not forget all of the Gods represented by the various Constellations in the night sky.

    Why would any parent, in this day and age, choose to send their child to a school based upon its religious bent that is in direct opposition to the very existence of that child’s parents?

    It has been said: “What fools these mortals be.”

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