I wish to apologize to all those who were offended by the inclusion of Bishop Henry’s letter in a communique sent to all ECSD parents on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. I need the public to know that I tried to discourage my fellow trustees from including his letter in a communication we were planning on sending out to our parents on Friday. As you can see, I was unsuccessful in convincing them that it would not bode well for our district and the future of Catholic education if we allowed ourselves to participate in disseminating his uninformed views and comments which frankly, in my opinion, are not in keeping with the spirit of the Year of Mercy recently declared by Pope Francis.
Many of my constituents have expressed their dismay/anger/horror/frustration/ that ECSD sent his letter which states so many hurtful and untrue things about the LGBTQ community — including that GSAs and QSAs are “highly politicized ideological clubs which seek to cure society of ‘homophobia’ and ‘heterosexism’, and which accept the idea that all forms of consensual sexual expression are legitimate.” This is not at all what GSAs and QSAs are — they are simply safe spaces for LGBTQ students and their allies to meet and receive support. Studies have shown that schools which have GSAs lower suicide rates for LGBTQ students and even help reduce the bullying experienced by those perceived as LGBTQ. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts: GSAs are clubs which offer pastoral support to a very vulnerable group of students. We need these groups in our schools as a means of saving lives.
There were many other things said in Bishop Henry’s letter which I disagree with and as an educated Catholic, I want my constituents to know that I unequivocally disagreed that it should be sent to our parents.