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Minnesota Catholic School Deems Mere Discussion of Being A Gay Teenager Too Controversial For Print

Benilde-St. Margaret’s, a Catholic high school in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, doesn’t want want to upset The Jesus, so rather than let students speak openly about their thoughts on the Catholic Church’s 400,000-distribution anti-gay DVD Preserving Marriage in Minnesota, administrators removed an editorial from the school newspaper that called the film a piece of crap.

The Knight Errant student newspaper published a news story last Thursday about the bishops’ “Preserving Marriage in Minnesota” DVD. But it was the two editorials that accompanied it — and the online comments they inspired — that created the uproar. One staff editorial challenged the bishops’ arguments against same-sex marriage and called the DVD “unsubstantiated.” Senior Bernardo Vigil helped write the piece.

“We did expect a little bit of a pushback from that, which there was. A lot of the comments were ‘this shouldn’t have been published, this is a Catholic school,'” Vigil said. But the op-ed that touched off the cyberstorm was editor Sean Simonson’s piece, “Life as a gay teenager.”

That doozy — published in full here — has Sean (pictured) acknowledging that he considered suicide as a way to end all the animosity aimed his way for being gay. “Every day you hear someone use your sexuality — a part of you that, no matter how desperately you try, you cannot change — as a negative adjective. That hurts,” he writes. “You fear looking the wrong way in the locker room and offending someone. Politicians are allowed to debate your right to marry the person you love or your right to be protected from hate crimes under the law. Your faith preaches your exclusion — or damnation. And no one does anything to stop it. Recently, the Archbishop used money donated by an anonymous source to denounce same-sex marriage. That’s right: a major religious leader used non-Church money from a questionable source to publicly condemn your right to express your love in a public and binding manner.”

After the piece ran, school principal Sue Skinner called Sean’s parents and spoke to Sean. Then she had the two editorials removed from the paper’s website, replaced with this note: “While lively debate and discussion clearly has its place in a Catholic school, this particular discussion is not appropriate because the level of intensity has created an unsafe environment for students. As importantly, the articles and ensuing online postings have created confusion about Church teaching.”

Ah yes, another example of school administrators, and not students themselves, creating inhospitable environments for gay teens. Because merely talking about being gay, and the struggles queer youth face that are directly connected to the Catholic Church and its teachings, are “not appropriate.”


By:          Ryan Tedder
On:           Nov 16, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

      Sending out almost half million DVDs that seeks to have input in the political arena seems like a pretty concrete violation of the separation of church and state statutes…….

      That vile bastion of little boy fuckers should immediatley lose their tax exempt status…………

      Nov 16, 2010 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er

      Uneffin believable. Man, today’s postings at Queerty has me seething!!! I’m just seeing red. I need to read more of that A-LIst crap to calm down. And behind all these postings: RELIGION!!! And it’s not Buddhism, Islam (altho, that has a place in the top offenders). It’s Christianity.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • malcanoid

      While there plenty of comments on the page of Sean Simopnson’s article, I think there should be one here. It is excellent and Sean is to be congratulated on three counts:-

      1) for writing an article that any school newspaper in the free world ought to be proud to publish;

      2) for the clarity and sincerity his argument; I should like his archbishop and his school administrators to give him a personal response and for that to be published too;

      2) for having the courage to stand up and be counted. I hope his parents, relatives and friends are as proud of him as he deserves.

      Well done Sean.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      And as a PS to post number 1………..

      Sean, I hope you find your way to Queertyland and see this thread. Your article was very moving. You pretty much summed up each and every thought I had as a Gay teen. Perfect, concise, and effective. I am sure your article will actually open up some closed mindes and possibly prevent some of the acts which cause so many Gay teens to contemplate and unfortunately committ suicide…………..Well done and Thank you

      Nov 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry Holland

      And no one does anything to stop it

      Reminds of that bit from Glee last week, where Blaine is telling Kurt about reporting harassment to the school and “they just don’t care”.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi

      Poor kid, too bad he has to go to a catholic school!

      Nov 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael

      Both censored editorials can be read in their entirety here.

      Nov 16, 2010 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FlopsyMopsyCT

      I actually went to BSM for high school. I guess I don’t know what it’s like now, but when I was there it was never a threatening environment. For a Catholic school, it’s very progressive and addresses the needs of its homosexual students. Honestly, I was gay in high school and I never had a problem there. If the boy who wrote that article truly had such a tough time there, I feel bad. But I never had that experience.

      Nov 18, 2010 at 4:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AOG93

      Good for him! I can relate on the same level, since I go to a Christian school in South America as well. It’s hard, because teachers seem to go against all of what the bible teaches [Love, tolerance…]. But I stand up for myself always, and I am glad to read about other kids who are the same. I just wish kids my age here who are like me…

      Nov 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ait10101

      AOG93: There are, they just aren’t brave enough. Good for you!

      Dec 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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