Boston Archdiocese Established Non-Discrimination Admission Policy

January 13, 2011
In a step toward the equal treatment of families headed by same-sex couples, the Archdiocese of Boston announced a policy decision this week that Catholic schools would not “discriminate against or exclude any categories of students.’’ 

Cardinal Sean O'Malley

The policy emerged out of a controversy in May 2010 when administrators of a Catholic school in Hingham, Mass., told an eight-year-old boy with two mothers that he could no longer attend the school.  In the midst of the upset created by the action, the Archdiocese helped the family find another Catholic school, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley set up a panel of clergy and lay administrators to establish policies for school admissions for the children of gay and lesbian couples.  The official newspaper of the Archdiocese noted that the new policy statement does not define what constitutes “categories of students” and that the decision for admission is still lodged with the local school administration.  The article attributes diocesan Secretary for Education Mary Grassa O'Neill with saying that the new policy “ensures Catholic schools are in line with federal non-discrimination standards” and reported that many of Catholic schools are legally sanctioned non-profit organizations and must sign a non-discrimination clause.  GLAAD has been shining a light on this and similar stories in Texas and Colorado and will continue monitoring religious and public schools for fair treatment of children and youth whose parents are LGBT.