The gay advocacy organization that provided Prince of Peace Catholic School senior Keaton Fuller with a $40,000 scholarship has prepared a script to be read at a May 20 graduation ceremony with the blessing of Bishop Martin Amos. The diocesan superintendent of schools will read the script but a representative of the Eychaner Foundation’s scholarship committee will be there to physically present a statue to Fuller.
Amos in an earlier statement said “long-standing” policy would not allow an appearance by Eychaner officials because “we cannot allow anyone or any organization which promotes a position that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church to present at a diocesan institution.”
But open further review, diocesan spokesperson David Montgomery said there has been no alteration of policy and that the issue became what did “presenting” an award really means.
“We meant to say ‘speaking’,” Montgomery said.
Bishop Amos went on to say in a statement that “principles of mutual respect and careful listening exhibited by all parties allowed a solution to emerge. We have many things we agree upon, and have also agreed to accept the fact that we also have some things we disagree about. But that shouldn’t prevent all of us from celebrating Keaton Fuller’s success.”
Fuller and the Eychaner Foundation’s founder, Rich Eychaner, both thanked Bishop Amos for finding an acceptable resolution. The script to be read on graduation day will say the scholarship “is granted to distinguished Iowa high school seniors who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender” and that Fuller “gradually shared his story with friends and classmates … and was embraced by the Prince of Peace community.”
“As I leave Prince of Peace, it’s comforting to know that this experience may make it easier for the next gay student who attends this school,” Fuller said in a statement issued Friday. “Please know that this week has not been about me. Rather, it has been about recognizing that everybody deserves to be treated equally, regardless of any differences we may have.”
Read more at the link, including the full script of what will be read at the graduation.