PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. - A Catholic school in Kansas has been the subject of scrutiny since its decision not to allow the child of a same-sex couple admission in their kindergarten class.
St. Ann's Catholic School and Church rejected the prospective student for school this year when they discovered the child's parents - both women - were legally married. Supporters of the couple want the decision - made by the Archdiocese of Kansas City - reconsidered.
A petition in support of the family is circulating, gathering more than one thousand signatures so far. Members of the church and school community have voiced their displeasure at how the situation was handled.
"To be outraged, you really have to be surprised," Joe Skates, one parent who signed the petition, said.
Skates, who said both of his sons attended another Catholic school, makes no secret about his dislike for organized religion.
"You have the Archdiocese saying, 'We're not going to allow this child of an openly gay couple into this school,'" Skates said.
In late February, St. Ann's pastor, Craig Maxim, sent home a letter to parents, stating same sex-marriages don't comply with the church's beliefs. Thursday afternoon, the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, released a statement that supported Maxim's message.
"The hypocrisy is so insane. I just really don't get it. They need to change. They need to modernize," Skates said. "You have two people who are trying to raise a child, and do it in a family atmosphere and send them to a place that is a Christian school, and they're saying we're not going to let your kid in here to learn our views and get a good education because your parents aren't something we approve of."
One parent, who signed the petition but asked to remain anonymous emailed the following comments: "...As you can see from the petition, the community of St Ann is heavily supportive of the message in the letter." "...the ball is in Archdiocese court and it is their office who needs to answer as to what is next with regards to policy changes."
Reporters also reached out to the family, visiting their Johnson County home. No one answered the door or the voicemails left for them. Skates said many people associated with the petition are afraid to speak out for fear of backlash from their fellow Catholics.
"The sins of the parent is their perspective. Punishing the child for the parent's views is my perspective," Skates said.