On the very same day that Pennsylvania lifted the ban on marriage equality, principal Nancy Matteo of St. Andrews Catholic Elementary School in Bucks County made waves with an anti-gay email. The letter, which was sent to students' parents, included an apology for picturing Ellen DeGeneres on a graduation dance invitation that had been handed out to students. Since the dance is Oscars-themed, the invitation read "Live from the Red Carpet" and depicted two-time Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres holding up an award.
In the email, the principal commented that the lesbian celebrity "lives her life outside the teachings of the Catholic Church." Matteo stated that she was "obviously NOT thinking," as DeGeneres is not the type of role model the school wants their students to have. She continued to apologize immensely and demanded that students return the invitations to her so she could promptly destroy them. She then promised that new invitations would be sent out.
GLAAD admires Ellen DeGeneres and all that she that she has done for LGBT equality, and has a strong history of supporting her. Back in 2012, when Ellen partnered with J.C. Penney, GLAAD backed the celebrity when the anti-gay group "One Million Moms" launched a campaign against her. GLAAD led an online action called #StandUpForEllen where fans and community members could fight for Ellen and thank J.C. Penney.
The other ironic reality is that the majority of Roman Catholics in the United States are very supportive of LGBT people. According to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute report, white Catholics (58%) and Hispanic Catholics (56%) both favor marriage equality. Principal Matteo seems to be out of step with the majority of Roman Catholics with her profuse apology and clear condemnation of Ellen. GLAAD would like to once again offer support to Ellen and encourage others to do so, as well.