Catholic School Rejects Lesbian Alumna’s Wedding Announcement

Sarah Rupert-Sullivan, left, with wife, Molly

Notre Dame Preparatory School, a Catholic high school in Baltimore, Maryland, has rejected the wedding announcement of a lesbian alumna in their class notes, prompting an outcry from alumnae and supporters of LGBT equality.

Sarah Rupert-Sullivan graduated from the school in 2003 and married her wife, Molly, last August. Around that time, she submitted the announcement for the “Class Chatter” notes through the school’s website. The Baltimore Sun reports further:

“Weeks later, when the Catholic private school’s class notes were posted online, news of Rupert-Sullivan’s nuptials in Maryland was omitted.

“The reason, according to Notre Dame Prep spokeswoman Cami Colarossi, is an editorial policy tied to the school’s identity as a ministry of the Catholic Church. Colarossi is also the publication’s editor.

” ‘We do not print in official school publications information which conflicts … in any way with the totality of the Church’s teachings,’ Colarossi said.”

Rupert-Sullivan spoke with other administrators at Notre Dame Prep, including the headmistress, and was told there are no plans to change policies, but alumnae will now be notified immediately if their announcement is to be rejected. In response, the she started a petition with over 1,505 signatures calling on the school to allow all marriages to be announced in “Class Chatter.” Of this effort, The Baltimore Sun reports:

“Rupert-Sullivan — who doesn’t identify as Catholic and says she was sent to Notre Dame Prep because her parents thought it seemed like ‘a forward-thinking school’ — said the religion-based policy only seems to go so far.

” ‘The weddings that are listed are not Catholic-only…I got a message from a woman on Facebook that was married, divorced and did not have her first marriage annulled. So technically her second marriage is also a sin, and therefore her child was born illegitimately. NDP happily published both of those things.”

” ‘My other goal was to make sure no other student, whether it be current or past, feels like they are the only ones left out…At this point, I can only push on. I can’t just quietly settle down.’ “

This is the latest in a string of anti-LGBT actions by Catholic schools, which have included firing LGBT employees and failing to respect transgender students who are transitioning. You can read more about such incideants by clicking the ‘Schools & Youth‘ category on the right sidebar of this page.

With marriage equality spreading around the nation, there are only going to be more incidents like this one multiplying in Catholic high schools and colleges. As Catholic Schools Week approaches, beginning January 26th, incidents like these highlight the need for Catholic education to raise its standards on LGBT issues and reiterate that forming gay-straight alliances and implementing inclusive non-discrimination policies should be top priorities for 2014.

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

13 replies
    • Robert
      Robert says:

      I am sure they do not post divorce notices. Who would want to advertise their failed marriage? As far as non Christian marriages, how would anyone know?? Its only when homosexual advocates shove their actions that are contrary to Church teaching in the face of the Church or when well meaning homosexuals even accidentally make known their defiance of Church teaching. You’re point is understood but not valid in trying to make a point that such policies are hypocritical.

      Reply
  1. Joe Geist
    Joe Geist says:

    Why do all these countless forms of the Catholic Church want to deny reality? The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    Reply
    • Robert
      Robert says:

      Expecting teachers to NOT contradict the very teachings of the Catholic Church is NOT discrimination. Get a good dictionary and study the Constitution of the United States to better understand what real discrimination is, please. And the recent court decision do not alter my statement. They have simply not tested by the Supreme Court and they will fail. DOMA was not based on discrimation arguments. It was a states rights issue.

      Reply
  2. Sandy Perrotti
    Sandy Perrotti says:

    Sooner or later these schools may sadly need to separate themselves from the “support” of the Catholic Church if they want to be true to their mission.

    Reply
  3. Robert
    Robert says:

    Sandy, with all due respect, that is an incorrect statement. The “true mission” of these Catholic schools IS the CATHOLIC CHURCH! The have no mission more important than teaching the truth of the Catholic Church.

    Reply
  4. amagjuka
    amagjuka says:

    I am a lifelong Catholic. The Catholic church teaches social justice. These firings are not social justice, they are discrimination. The firings and discrimination must stop. The faithful must insist on it.

    Reply
  5. Judy
    Judy says:

    Robert, that infers that the Catholic church understands truth. From my advocacy experience in trying to protect children from clergy sexual abuse, I have come to know that the Catholic Church hierarchy is not familiar with truth. They lie… over and over and over again. Jesus however, speaks the truth. Love one another.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] marriage. At least three similar incidents have happened at Marian High School in Omaha, Notre Dame Prep in Baltimore, and Sacred Heart Academy in Amherst, New York. Notre Dame Prep eventually reversed […]

  2. […] In January, news broke that Notre Dame Preparatory School, Baltimore, had rejected 2003 alumna Sarah Rupert-Sullivan’s announcement about her marriage to wife, Molly, from the school’s “Class Chatter” notes in the alumnae newsletter. The administrators of Notre Dame Preparatory, which is run by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, cited a conflict with Church teaching as the reason for the decision, but over 1,600 people signed a petition in support of Rupert-Sullivan and her wife. You can read Bondings 2.0‘s original coverage of the event by clicking here. […]

  3. […] situation is not a first. A Catholic high school in Maryland made headlines when it rejected a lesbian alumna’s wedding announcement earlier this year. As marriage equality expands in the US, let us hope Catholic education can do […]

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