Little Rock Diocese Adopts Horrific Policy Affecting 6,700 Students
Catholic schools in Arkansas are attempting to erase the identities of LGBT students by threatening them with expulsion should they dare to express their true selves.
The Catholic Dioceses of Little Rock, which covers 27 elementary and secondary Catholic schools in the state with a total enrollment of more than 6,700 students, recently distributed a horrific anti-LGBT addendum to its "Manual of Polices and Regulations."
The Little Rock diocese is led by Bishop Anthony Taylor (pictured), who once compared homosexuality to incest in a brief opposing same-sex marriage. Taylor later called Obergefell v. Hodges one of the two worst Supreme Court decisions in modern history, along with Roe v. Wade, claiming same-sex marriage wouldn't do anything to improve the lives of gay couples.
The anti-LGBT addendum bars students from advocating, celebrating or expressing same-sex attraction "in such a way as to cause confusion or distraction in the context of Catholic school classes, activities, or events." It also states that students "are expected to conduct themselves at school in a manner consistent with their biological sex," including when it comes to how they dress, which restrooms and pronouns they use, and how they are referred to in official school documents.
"If the student's expression of gender, sexual identity, or sexuality should mislead others, or cause scandal, or have the potential to cause scandal, then the matter will first be discussed with the student and his/her parents," the addendum states. "If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the school, whose primary goal must always be to uphold Catholic truths and principles, then the student may be dismissed."
ChurchMilitant.com, a conservative Christian news site, celebrated the addendum under a headline that reads, "Arkansas Catholic Schools Quash LGBT Agenda."
Not surprisingly, local LGBT advocates and allies are outraged, according to the above report from Little Rock's KHTV.
"If you don't want to bring scandal against your school, then don't do things that discriminate against children," said Tippi McCullough, a member of Arkansas Stonewall Democrats who is also a former Catholic school teacher.
Tyler Gibbons, a graduate of Louisville's Catholic High who last year was part of the first gay couple to attend the school's prom, noted that for many LGBT students, school is the only place they feel safe.
"And now, there are so many kids that just don't feel like they can be there," Gibbons said.
One parent of a non-LGBT student said the addendum "does not convey the message I want my son to learn," while a current student at Catholic High who identifies as LGBT called it "non-Christ-like."
KHTV reports that while Taylor is believed to be responsible for the addendum, the diocese is refusing to answer specific questions about it.
"The mission of our Catholic schools includes reflecting the fundamental truths as revealed by God in both natural law and divine revelation, and it is the adherence to the teachings of the Catholic Church that makes our schools 'Catholic' and distinct from other schools," the diocese said in a statement.
Coincidentally, news of the anti-LGBT addendum broke the same week Bishop Taylor released a letter acknowledging sexual abuse by a former priest.
See a mistake? Email corrections to: [email protected]