GLAAD Calls on Nation's Media to Shine a Light on Denver Archdiocese Decision to Bar Child of Lesbian Parents From Preschool

March 8, 2010
Richard Ferraro Director of Communications (646) 871-8011 Cindi Creager Director of National News

March 8, 2010, New York, NY – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today urged the national media to investigate a directive by the Denver Archdiocese to bar the child of a lesbian couple from re-enrolling in the preschool next year at the Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Boulder, Colorado.

Local news reports in Boulder and Denver have revealed that representatives of the Archdiocese told teachers at the school last week that the preschool student will not be allowed to attend school next year “because of the child's parents, who are lesbians.” The Boulder Daily Camera report continued: “In a statement, the Archdiocese of Denver said: ‘We expect all families who enroll students to live in accord with Catholic teaching.’” According to Boulder LGBT advocates, teachers at the school who were upset about the decision brought the story to the attention of the local media.

“These actions by the Denver Archdiocese harm the student by taking the child away from friends, teachers and community,” said Jarrett Barrios, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “It’s deeply troubling to see any school remove a child from their educational program simply as the means of rejecting that child’s parents.”

GLAAD is in close contact with local advocates who are on the ground in Boulder working to help community members organize around this situation. GLAAD will also continue to conduct outreach to local and national media to spotlight this story and raise awareness of the harms faced by LGBT families.

“[Friday] night, in conjunction with Wesley Chapel, Boulder Pride held a community forum about the situation, to provide people a space to talk about their feelings and plan action going forward. We have heard loud and clear from the LGBTQ community, as well as from allies, that this situation has stirred feelings of anger, pain and frustration,” wrote Boulder Pride’s Board President, Dave Ensign and Executive Director, AicilaLewis. “While this situation has been incredibly difficult and reminded us all of vital work that remains to be done, it also has highlighted our strengths as a community. We are grateful to live in Boulder County with engaged, passionate community members like you.”

As Boulder community leaders continue to help constituents deal with the hurt caused by this decision, GLAAD calls on the nation’s media to elevate the story to larger platforms and show the American public the concrete harms facing the children of gay and lesbian parents across the country. “The media has a responsibility to spotlight how this type of exclusion damages families and creates roadblocks to children's future achievements,” said Barrios.

Related Coverage:

Boulder Daily Camera— March 5, 2010
“GLBT community rallies around lesbian couple rejected from Sacred Heart of Jesus preschool in Boulder”

9 Denver— March 5, 2010
“Gay couple's child denied re-enrollment at Catholic school”

Denver Post— March 7, 2010
"Protest planned over Catholic preschool's refusal to re-enroll child of gay couple"

9 Denver— March 8, 2010
“Parents to start petition after school turns away lesbian couple's child”