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BC High students produce video supporting LGBT student-athletes

Posted by David Zimmerman March 25, 2014 08:33 AM

The Eagles of Boston College High School have become the first Catholic Conference All Boys high school to join the You Can Play Project. You Can Play promotes inclusion and diversity for all athletes, coaches and fans.

According to BC High Coach Michael Brennan, "Being a Jesuit high school, we strive to promote justice in all areas of life and once we heard Patrick Burke (founder of You Can Play) speak at our school, we knew we had to make a video. Patrick was invited to speak with our students by guidance counselor Katie Griswold and the Students for Social Respect student group. BC High wants to show that in our sports program, it doesn’t matter who you are. If you know how to be a good teammate and you can play, you to can play for BC High."

"Our experience working with BC High has been amazing. Their support for LGBT issues has been exceptional. From the administration, to the teachers, to the students, it has been heartwarming to see full buy in from the community. Their support is just another example of the unmatched work YCP is doing with religious academic institutions to ensure LGBT inclusion,” said Burke.

"I issued BC High two challenges - the first was to eliminate anti-gay language from their community. The second was to try to beat my alma mater, Xaverian, to become the first member of the Catholic Conference to create a YCP video. In a rare upset, BC High did beat Xaverian this time. Their video is wonderful. It is great to see that BC High took our message for LGBT inclusion and extended it to the other aspects of diversity their students see on a daily basis. It shows a true understanding of our underlying mission. We hope that the LGBT administrators, teachers, and students of BC High feel a little more included today."

All students who appear in the video are athletes and members of the class of 2014 at Boston College High School. They are: Christopher Solis (football), Stephen DeForge (Hockey, captain), Stephen DiCienzo (football, captain), Tom Moynahan (swimming and diving), John Carroll (lacrosse, captain), William Biggs (track, captain) Football, Christopher La Liberte (hockey, captain), Igor Carvalho (volleyball), Shaun Griswold, (swimming and diving),, Andrew Jaehnig (baseball), Sean Webster (baseball), Alexander Loughnane (basketball, captain), Michelle Laferriere (wresting, captain, football, track), and Jordan Samuels (track,captain).

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

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


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Massachusetts Charter School takes heat for staging gay play about Biblical 'Adam and Steve'

Posted by Jim Lopata March 9, 2013 12:07 PM

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter School in South Hadley, Massachusetts, is taking heat for staging a play that imagines Adam's partner in the Garden of Eden as Steve rather than Eve.

According to CBN News, the school has received e-mails and calls from people who oppose the selection and who say they may protest the production during its run, which begins March 15. But the school is defending its decision. According to CBN News:

In a letter to parents, administrators at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter School said the play is consistent with the school's philosophy and appropriate for a high school audience.

But they did admit to receiving email petitions and phone calls describing the production as "blasphemous and hateful."

Some of the messages from opponents also say they plan to organize protests through local churches.

The school's website announces performance dates and times and provides a description of the play:

What if Adam’s partner in the Garden of Eden wasn’t Eve, but … Steve? In The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, two First Couples—not only Adam and Steve but also Jane and Mabel—experience life’s joys and perils from the biblical world to the modern day. This satirical comedy by Paul Rudnick (author of I Hate Hamlet and Jeffrey) is cheeky, raucously funny, surprisingly tender and ultimately wise as it dissects history, relationships, gay politics and the mystery of faith.

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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