The new policy regarding gay* (in summation, they don't exist and can't exist in Catholic schools) students in Arkansas Catholic schools is getting more media attention. For New Civil Rights Movement, John Wright writes,
Catholic schools in Arkansas are attempting to erase the identities of LGBT students by threatening them with expulsion should they dare to express their true selves.
I'm particularly happy to see that Wright recognizes that, at the very heart of the new policies about gay* young people in Catholic schools in Arkansas, is the intent to erase them from existence. The policy requiring that the word gay* not even be used to describe these students is in and of itself an assault on their very humanity, on their very existence.
This is shocking behavior on the part of any Christian institution — a point made over and over following the massacre of gay* people at a gay* bar in Orlando, an event which placed in the limelight the refusal of many Christian leaders even to speak the word "gay" when they were responding to the mass murder of gay human beings.
As Wright also indicates, just as news about the can't-say-gay revision to the handbook for Catholic schools in Arkansas broke, news also broke of a priest in the diocese of Little Rock, Robert Torres, who abused a number of minors in his years of ministry. In noting this, I am not suggesting that the revisions to the Catholic schools handbook were deliberately made public at the same time this abuse case was made public. I have no information on which to base such a conclusion.
It does bear noting, however, that Catholic authority figures continue gleefully to gay-bait in order to divert attention from their heinous sin of hiding and moving priests known to abuse minors from parish to parish, placing more minors in damage. Gay-baiting has had an instrumentally useful role for church officials as they try to change the subject from their tremendous immorality in protecting priests abusing minors to the question of sexual orientation — as if the abuse crisis in the Catholic church is due to homosexuality, even when both female and male minors have been abused by priests. And when it's well known that many boys were abused by priests simply because they were more available to priests than girls were . . . .
And when no one ever suggests that priests abusing female minors are doing so because they are heterosexual — or that the vast majority of child molesters outside the church, who hapeen to be heterosexual and are targeting female minors, are abusing girls because they are heterosexual . . . .
* I'm using the term "gay" to refer to all those comprised by the more cumbersome acronym LGBTQI. In using the word "gay" as shorthand for this acronym, I don't by any means want to give preference to gay people or gay men, among all those represented in the LGBTQI acronym. I'm using the shorthand for the sake of convenience, and have chosen the "gay" part of it to represent the rest solely because, in cultural discussions of these issues, this word has long functioned in this shorthand way.