Dominic and his brother are the third generation of their family to attend Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic school, and Dominic was invited to speak at the graduation this year. Dominic was looking forward to speaking to the students about placing faith over fear, pursuing their dreams, and the bright future ahead of them. He was especially thrilled to get this opportunity because his brother is graduating this year. Sadly, Dominic's invitation to speak has been rescinded.
See, around the same time Dominic was sharing the exciting news about speaking at his brother's graduation, he was sharing some other thrilling news with his Facebook friends, the news of his engagement. Dominic recently got engaged to his partner, Nathan, and was understandably proud and excited about their engagement. The officials at Sacred Heart were less thrilled with that news. In fact, they were so less than thrilled that they couldn't even be bothered to give Mr. Sheahan-Stahl the news in person. They called his mother and told her that her son was no longer welcome to speak at graduation. He was no longer welcome to speak simply because he was too openly gay for them.
I completely understand that the Catholic church is a private entity and they have every legal right to have who they want speak at one of their schools' graduation ceremonies. I understand that many churches believe that homosexuality is against the word of God and is therefore a sin. I also know that the new testament of the Bible clearly says that you should not judge other people unless you want to risk judgment yourself. When Sacred Heart Academy rescinded Dominic Sheahan-Stahl's invitation to speak because he was too publicly gay, they were passing judgment. When they didn't even give him the courtesy of telling him of their decision personally, they were taking the coward's way out.
While it is certainly the church's right to disapprove of homosexuality, if you believe in God and believe that the Bible is the word of God, it is not our place as Christians to judge someone because their sexual preferences. Rescinding Dominic Sheahan-Stahl's invitation was certainly a judgment of the most public kind and I believe it was wrong. The unfairness of this judgment is compounded by the fact that Dominic Sheahan-Stahl has been living as an openly gay man for years and had no reason to believe SHA didn't know about that when they tendered the initial invitation. It would be understandable is Dominic was hurt by this situation. It would be understandable if Dominic angry about the situation. It would even be understandable if Dominic lashed out. Instead, Dominic is expressing his hurt and disappointment with eloquence and grace. He is using his voice to spread the word and promote discussion. He is exhibiting the very traits that Sacred Heart Academy should be proud to see in their graduates.
Dominic, I would be proud if my sons grew up to be men like you. I'm sorry you are facing this discrimination and pray the officials at SHA can move past.this and rise above the dictates from the bishop.
If you support Dominic, here are a few ways you can add your voice to the discussion...
- Sign the petition on Change.org.
- Share Dominic’s video on Facebook and Twitter.
- Share the Let Dominic Speak Facebook page.
- Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else you can think of.
- You can also write your own post about Dominic's situation and, like the fabulous JW Moxie who brought this to my attention said, please let me know about it and I’ll help spread your words, too.