PamR
Catholic H.S.: Gay Student Can't Accept Matthew Shepard Scholarship on Stage
by PamR
Pam
May 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Catholic H.S.: Gay Student Can't Accept Matthew Shepard Scholarship on Stage

BY Michelle Garcia

May 08 2012 1:36 PM ET

A gay high school senior was told that he cannot formally accept the Matthew Shepard Scholarship at his Catholic school's annual awards ceremony, despite being encouraged to apply for the award from school administrators. 

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 A gay Iowa teenager has been told that he cannot receive the Matthew Shepard Scholarship at his Catholic school's annual awards ceremony.

Prince of Peace Catholic school senior Keaton Fuller was initially told that he could accept the scholarship at his school's awards ceremony on May 20. According to the Eychaner Foundation of Des Moines, Iowa, which granted the scholarship, Fuller even learned of the scholarship from his school, and the principal issued a statement to notify the scholarship committee that he could accept the award at the ceremony.

But weeks later, the opportunity to formally accept the scholarship at his high school has been revoked after pressure from the local Catholic diocese. "It is difficult to understand how after I have spent 13 years at this school and worked hard during all of them, I would be made to feel that my accomplishments are less than everybody else’s," Fuller wrote in a letter to the student body and staff. "This whole ordeal has been incredibly hurtful, and I am even sadder that this will be one of my last experiences to remember my high school years by."

The Matthew Shepard Scholarship grants $40,000 to an openly LGBT student attending the University of Iowa the following fall. Fuller won the scholarship based on his academic work, as well as his work to reduce homophobia at school and in his community.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 4,000 people have signed a Change.org petition supporting Fuller and asking the school's principal, Superintendent Leland Morrision, and Bishop Martin J. Amos to have a change of heart.

Replies

  • Arroree
    by Arroree
    May 8, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    That's really messed up, those school officials and the religious leaders pushing them to do this should all be deeply ashamed of themselves.

    And then the Catholic church wonders why so many people are so angry with them. SMH

  • 12hellokitty
    May 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    In a different article Fuller states

    “Everybody at the school has always been very accepting and extremely encouraging toward me,” Keaton Fuller, a senior at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Clinton, Iowa, told msnbc.com. “That’s why the latest turn of events has been such a surprise -- I feel invalidated and unaccepted.”

     

    So because The Church is not willing to go against it's teaching Fuller feels "invalidated and unaccepted"?  It's sad that he can so quickly write off the acceptance and encouragement he received from classmates and staff because of not being able to receive a scholarship on stage.  Someone needs to tell this young man regardless of sexual orientation we all experience moments of invalidation and unacceptance.  He could have made a bigger difference if he had respected the teachings of the Church and agreed to receive the scholarship at the awards ceremony.     

  • romalove
    May 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM

     

    Quoting 12hellokitty:

    In a different article Fuller states

    “Everybody at the school has always been very accepting and extremely encouraging toward me,” Keaton Fuller, a senior at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Clinton, Iowa, told msnbc.com. “That’s why the latest turn of events has been such a surprise -- I feel invalidated and unaccepted.”

     

    So because The Church is not willing to go against it's teaching Fuller feels "invalidated and unaccepted"?  It's sad that he can so quickly write off the acceptance and encouragement he received from classmates and staff because of not being able to receive a scholarship on stage.  Someone needs to tell this young man regardless of sexual orientation we all experience moments of invalidation and unacceptance.  He could have made a bigger difference if he had respected the teachings of the Church and agreed to receive the scholarship at the awards ceremony.     

     Where in the Bible is there an injunction about receiving a scholarship?

  • sherry132
    May 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    It's the Catholic Church. Their rules are clear. They haven't changed in 2000 years. They will never change no matter what society wants. I don't know why anyone is surprised. 

  • meriana
    by meriana
    May 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    It's a catholic school for pete's sake. As for those at the school encouraging him to apply for the scholarship, most principles/counselors, etc at schools will and do encourage a student to apply for any and all scholarships for which he/she might be eligible. It does not mean they are obligated to make it any part of an award ceremony. At the schools my kids attended, some scholarships are awarded on stage but most are simply a mention in the graduation program with the name of the student, the amount awarded and the name of the awarding group.

  • romalove
    May 8, 2012 at 3:40 PM

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    It's the Catholic Church. Their rules are clear. They haven't changed in 2000 years. They will never change no matter what society wants. I don't know why anyone is surprised. 

     There's a rule against scholarship acceptance?

    And it's not true that it has not changed, they have absolutely changed things over time.

    Or are you receiving any indulgences?

  • sherry132
    May 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    There are rules against promoting homosexuality. The scholarship is a scholarship for only people who are homosexuals. 

    I am an excommunicated Catholic. Nothing that matters has changed at all. 

    Quoting romalove:

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    It's the Catholic Church. Their rules are clear. They haven't changed in 2000 years. They will never change no matter what society wants. I don't know why anyone is surprised. 

     There's a rule against scholarship acceptance?

    And it's not true that it has not changed, they have absolutely changed things over time.

    Or are you receiving any indulgences?


  • romalove
    May 8, 2012 at 3:47 PM

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    There are rules against promoting homosexuality. The scholarship is a scholarship for only people who are homosexuals. 

    I am an excommunicated Catholic. Nothing that matters has changed at all. 

    Quoting romalove:

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    It's the Catholic Church. Their rules are clear. They haven't changed in 2000 years. They will never change no matter what society wants. I don't know why anyone is surprised. 

     There's a rule against scholarship acceptance?

    And it's not true that it has not changed, they have absolutely changed things over time.

    Or are you receiving any indulgences?


     You were excommunicated?  Wow, I'm sorry to hear that.

    I disagree that things that "don't matter" haven't changed.  I also disagree on their stance on this scholarship.  They were fine to allow the gay student to attend their school and take their money, but they won't allow him to get a scholarship because it's in the name of a gay person and it's for a gay person?

    What happened to "love the sinner and hate the sin"?

    What happened to letting God stand in judgment?

    There is nothing remotely sexual about getting this scholarship.  I thought it was the act of homosexuality that was the problem, and not the people themselves?

  • sherry132
    May 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    It's the promotion of the scholarship that is the problem. For them to announce the scholarship, the school will name the scholarship foundation, which would promote the homosexuality. At least in the eyes of the church.

    And what have they changed? Women can't be priest, women can't use birth control, people can't get divorced, well they can, but it's rare the church gives out an annulment so that the divorced couple can remarry. Priest and nuns still can't have sexual relationships. 

    What's changed that actually matters? Except the nuns can't beat the hell out of the kids anymore, I don't know of anything that has contributed to the church making a signifigant change.

    Yes, I was excommunicated because I got a divorce and I used birth control and a very little known fact that I rarely ever share, I had an abortion that wasn't my choice, I 'forced' into it by my parents. I remarried and got my tubes tied. I can never participate in the blood and body of Christ again. 

    Quoting romalove:

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    There are rules against promoting homosexuality. The scholarship is a scholarship for only people who are homosexuals. 

    I am an excommunicated Catholic. Nothing that matters has changed at all. 

    Quoting romalove:

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    It's the Catholic Church. Their rules are clear. They haven't changed in 2000 years. They will never change no matter what society wants. I don't know why anyone is surprised. 

     There's a rule against scholarship acceptance?

    And it's not true that it has not changed, they have absolutely changed things over time.

    Or are you receiving any indulgences?


     You were excommunicated?  Wow, I'm sorry to hear that.

    I disagree that things that "don't matter" haven't changed.  I also disagree on their stance on this scholarship.  They were fine to allow the gay student to attend their school and take their money, but they won't allow him to get a scholarship because it's in the name of a gay person and it's for a gay person?

    What happened to "love the sinner and hate the sin"?

    What happened to letting God stand in judgment?

    There is nothing remotely sexual about getting this scholarship.  I thought it was the act of homosexuality that was the problem, and not the people themselves?


  • sherry132
    May 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Oh and you can be gay. You just can't have a sexual meaningful relationship with another and not be excommunicated for it. You can't flaunt that you are gay. 

    Quoting romalove:

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    There are rules against promoting homosexuality. The scholarship is a scholarship for only people who are homosexuals. 

    I am an excommunicated Catholic. Nothing that matters has changed at all. 

    Quoting romalove:

     

    Quoting sherry132:

    It's the Catholic Church. Their rules are clear. They haven't changed in 2000 years. They will never change no matter what society wants. I don't know why anyone is surprised. 

     There's a rule against scholarship acceptance?

    And it's not true that it has not changed, they have absolutely changed things over time.

    Or are you receiving any indulgences?


     You were excommunicated?  Wow, I'm sorry to hear that.

    I disagree that things that "don't matter" haven't changed.  I also disagree on their stance on this scholarship.  They were fine to allow the gay student to attend their school and take their money, but they won't allow him to get a scholarship because it's in the name of a gay person and it's for a gay person?

    What happened to "love the sinner and hate the sin"?

    What happened to letting God stand in judgment?

    There is nothing remotely sexual about getting this scholarship.  I thought it was the act of homosexuality that was the problem, and not the people themselves?