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Children in the custody of same-sex couples in parochial schools

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I saw this happening in my son's school. The same-sex couple was interestingly activist in hosting pizza parties, sponsoring tables at fundraisers, and volunteering when parental help was needed. I found out only by accident that the pizza party--a "beginning of the school year" celebration, held as an afterschool event--was going to be held at the apartment of the same-sex couple. The school felt no obligation to inform the parents of this fact. When I complained to the principal, she claimed that the school would never divulge such information, as it was "confidential" and a matter of "privacy."

The third reason is that it seemed a real danger that the boy being raised by the same-sex couple would bring to school something obscene or pornographic, or refer to such things in conversation, as they go along with the same-sex lifestyle, which--as not being related to procreation-- is inherently eroticized and pornographic. He might expose other children to such things, as he might easily have encountered them in his household.

When I raised these and similar concerns with the pastor, he replied that the school's mission was to serve the child of the same-sex couple. I said that I believed that the Church indeed had such a mission, but that this mission conflicted with the mission to educate my son well. It was not possible, it seemed, for the school to serve this child and, at the same time, to be a suitable partner with me in educating my son in the way that I thought best, and where issues could be raised in an age-appropriate manner.

Someone might wonder where the line should be drawn if children raised by same-sex couples are excluded from parochial schools. What about children raised by divorced, contracepting, or cohabiting couples?

Well--what would be the problem in requiring that if parents wish to enroll their children in a Catholic school, they must agree to abide by basic principles of morality?

It should be said that all of my practical concerns involve young children, who should be innocent of sexual matters and whose familial affections are still being formed. Nothing I have said would count against admitting children raised by same-sex couples into high school, and probably not middle school.

Michael Pakaluk is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, VA, where he teaches courses on ethics and the philosophy of marriage and the family. He formerly taught at Clark University, in Worcester, and has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University.

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