Open letter to the parents of students in Catholic schools in San Francisco,
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s document regarding the allowable behavior of faculty and staff of local
schools is a narrow and bigoted interpretation of Catholic strictures. In particular, these imperatives will add to
an environment of discrimination and antipathy towards gay and trans students. It is unfortunate that the
Archbishop is seeking to advance the church’s sectarian objectives, as he sees them, in a matter that is
demonstrably harmful to the children entrusted to it.
Young of the LGBT community are confronted difficult issues with difficult burdens to be overcome. Not all can.
According to the Family Acceptance Project LGBT youth who experience “high levels of rejection from families
during adolescence were more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide.”
Lack of acceptance by family also leads to a greater chance of depression, drug use, and greater likelihood for
risky sexual behavior that puts them at risk for HIV and other STDs before the age of 20.
Also of concern is the school environment. The Archbishop is telling our youth that their innate feelings and
sense of personal identity are offensive to God. How will this affect the self-image of an adolescent? What
effect will this have on their peers and social standing?
While we fully support every individual’s right to seek meaning and community in whatever way is most
satisfying, we are concerned that the requirements of organized religion can encourage beliefs and behaviors
which can be harmful. We are optimistic that families of these students will put the best interests of their
children at the forefront.