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Fontbonne Academy alumnae issue statement, start Facebook group, to protest anti-gay firing

Posted by David Zimmerman  February 2, 2014 08:31 AM

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(AP)

A group of alumnae from Fontbonne Academy in Milton have started a Facebook group “Ducks Against Discrimination (the ‘Ducks’ is the name the school uses for its athletic teams), in response to the news this week that the school had fired a food services worker (only 3 days after hiring him) upon finding out he is gay.

One alum, Christa D. Labouliere, Ph.D., has also penned an open letter to Boston Spirit to express her disappointment in Fontbonne. In the letter (which can be seen in its entirety below) Labouliers states that “hundreds of alumnae were appalled to learn of the alleged discriminative behavior of the current administration toward Mr. Matthew Barrett. Regardless of Catholic doctrine, everyone deserves the same basic human rights, and rescinding a job offer to a gay man who would not be in any sort of proselytizing role is not “religious freedom;” it is outright bigotry. We are saddened that FBA appears to have somehow regressed in their morality over the past 10-15 years, as some of our favorite and most influential faculty members were openly homosexual (even in the theology department!).”

After only 3 days the Facebook group has amassed more than 1,000 members.

Christa Labouliere’s letter:

When I attended FontbonneAcademy from 1996-2000, we were taught social justice, to be “women of integrity” and “courage” strong enough to stand up for what we believe. We “Fontbonne Ducks” took pride in the fact that Fontbonne followed the true meaning of Catholic and preached a message of inclusion to people from all walks of life. FBA was unique amongst similar Catholic institutions for their progressive stance that embraced openly LGBT faculty and students, and this accepting and respectful atmosphere helped formed students into the strong, capable, compassionate women we are today.

That is why hundreds of alumnae were appalled to learn of the alleged discriminative behavior of the current administration toward Mr. Matthew Barrett. Regardless of Catholic doctrine, everyone deserves the same basic human rights, and rescinding a job offer to a gay man who would not be in any sort of proselytizing role is not “religious freedom;” it is outright bigotry. We are saddened that FBA appears to have somehow regressed in their morality over the past 10-15 years, as some of our favorite and most influential faculty members were openly homosexual (even in the theology department!). We alumnae are disturbed to think of the message being sent to the impressionable minds currently attending FBA – that the future female leaders of tomorrow are being indoctrinated with hate rather than respect, being taught to close their eyes tighter rather than opening their hearts wider.

We were taught to do what was right even if it was unpopular. As such, there are many alumnae who want to stand and state proudly that we DO NOT support the actions of Fontbonne Academy’s administration. Blatant discrimination IS NOT indicative of the belief system of FBA’s alumnae, and does not represent us. We want the FBA administration and the world at large to know that these actions do not define us; they defy us. We have started “Ducks Against Discrimination,” a Facebook page that gained over 500 alumnae members in its first 12 hours and is currently over 1,000 members strong. Jesus preached a message of love, tolerance, and benevolence; we are disheartened that institutions that operate in His name cannot do the same.

Always,
Christa D. Labouliere, Ph.D


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About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!
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