News :: Religion

Aussie Bishop Overturns Anti-Gay School Ruling

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Dec 15, 2011
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The Sacred Heart Primary School in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, located in the far west of the outback, rejected a young girl’s admission to the school because her parents are gay, Life Science News reported in a Dec 14 article.

Catholic Bishop Kevin Manning, apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes, called the school’s decision "absolutely appalling."

"[There is] no way in the world that we can persecute a child because of what their parents did," he told The Australian.

"You can’t discriminate against a child on the grounds that the parents are in a homosexual relationship," he continued. "You are vesting the sins of the parents on the child - it’s quite wrong."

Even though Manning overturned the rejection, the girl’s parents decided not to place their daughter in the school.

The incident made a member of Australia’s New South Wales Green party to "call for an end to exemptions for the church under the country’s anti-discrimination laws," Life Science News wrote.

"Schools such as Sacred Heart in Broken Hill can turn around and victimize a child because it has two parents who are living in a same-sex relationship," MP John Kaye told ABC News. "It’s a loophole that is an offense against the society that celebrates diversity."

A similar incident happened last year in Boston when an elementary school would not accept a gay couple’s child. Cardinal Sean O’Malley overruled the school’s decision, just as Bishop Manning did. In addition, O’Malley published guidelines that condemn discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Australia has provided several rights to its LGBT community. Same-sex couples are recognized in every state and territory. Several states have domestic registries, including New South Whales, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria. Other states recognize de facto same-sex couples.

The country also recognizes lesbian co-mothers as parents of children who were conceived through in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination.

In addition, gay couples are allowed to jointly adopt children in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Western Australia. In many of the country’s other regions, however, LGBT people are not allowed to adopt individually, except in South Australia.

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