A Catholic priest who hosted a mandatory assembly told seniors at Minneapolis’ DeLaSalle high school that single parents and children who are adopted are not normal, preached against same-sex marriage, and a Catholic couple who presented with the priest told the students gay marriage was akin to bestiality, all apparently in an effort to influence the seniors — soon to be of legal voting age — to vote for the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment facing Minnesota, according to a report.
"The first three-quarters of the presentation were really good," said (DeLaSalle senior Matt) Bliss. "They talked about what is marriage and how marriage helps us as a society. Then it started going downhill when they started talking about single parents and adopted kids. They didn't directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex. They implied that a 'normal' family is the best family."
At that point, some of the students objected to the presentation.
(Lydia) Hannah said students were anxious when they heard about the program and were suspicious because only seniors were required to go. "We put two and two together," said Hannah. "All of us will be able to vote next fall [on the constitutional amendment that limits marriage to same-sex couples]."
Hannah said the presenters briefly brought up the amendment but backed off when students got angry.
A priest and a volunteer couple presented the information. When someone asked a question about two men being able to have a quality, committed relationship, the couple compared their love to bestiality, Bliss said.
"Most people got really upset," said Bliss. "And comments about adopted kids, I found those to be really offensive. There were at least four kids there who are adopted."
Hannah, who is adopted, said one of the presenters said that adopted kids were "sociologically unstable." She called the comments "hurtful" and comparisons between gay love and bestiality upsetting.
"My friend said, 'You didn't just compare people to animals, did you?'" said Hannah. "I think everyone has a right to their opinion, and I don't judge them on it. But we don't force people to sit down so we can tell them their opinion is wrong."
Tevlin asked Jim Benson, a vice principal at the school who was at the gathering, if he thought the comments of the presenters were appropriate. Benson referred Tevlin back to the archdiocese.
Jim Accurso, spokesman for the archdiocese, said most of the presentation went fine. But during a question-and-answer session, a presenter used "an unfortunate example" to answer the question and made students upset.
"I can see where in a situation like this, students can feel dismayed," said Accurso, who added there have been no problems at other schools.