STOP endorsing homophobia
  • Petitioned Sacred Heart Academy, Mt Pleasant MI

This petition was delivered to:

Sacred Heart Academy, Mt Pleasant MI
Bishop Joseph Robert Cistone

STOP endorsing homophobia

    1. kelsey  miller
    2. Petition by

      kelsey miller

      Alma, MI

Dominic Sheahan-Stahl was invited to be the commencement speaker at Sacred Heart Academy's class of 2012 Graduation. Upon finding out that Dominic is an engaged, openly gay man, the school administration, with pressure from Bishop Cistone notified Dominic's mother that they were rescinding his invitation to be the keynote speaker, and left it up to her to break the news to her son. Dominic's younger brother and many other students of Sacred Heart Academy have posted on social media outlets, such as facebook, of their outrage at this homophobic intolerance.

Willi Sheahan-Stahl posted on facebook "I just want the Sacred Heart people on here to know that my brother Dominic Sheahan-Stahl was supposed to be the keynote speaker at my graduation, and today ,three weeks before he was supposed to give the speach he was informed that Denni Starnes (school principal) will not let him speak because he is GAY!!!!!......he already wrote the speach, and bought his plane ticket to come home a week before he was going to, to give this speech." 

The facebook page, Let Dominic Speak, shared a quote from Dominic himself about his feelings regarding the speech and the schools actions.
He also has posted a video on youtube and is quoted in The Morning Sun, which is the local Mt. Pleasant area newspaper, as well as many other news sources. He asks only for peaceful support on his behalf.

The purpose of this petition is to show that we do not support the endorsement of homophobia. Regardless of religious affiliation or beliefs, this type of intolerance is unacceptable. School administrative officials as well as Bishop Cistone and any others involved will know that we do not accept their close-minded way of thinking and do not sanction their behavior. We will petition, peacefully protest, and do whatever else is necessary to ensure that Dominic is allowed to speak and the homophobic intolerance is ended.

Sign to support our cause and end intolerance. STOP endorsing homophobia. Let Dominic speak.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 6,000 signatures
    2. SILENT PROTEST UPDATE! re-location and new date FRIDAY MAY 11, 2012

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      Due to feedback about the location/time of the protest, it is being re-located to the Saginaw Diocese Office and re-directed toward Bishop Cistone himself. The protest will start at 11am, and continue until 6pm. Again, it is a completely silent protest in honor of Dominic Sheahan-Stahl not being able to give his speech. Let the Bishop know that the we do not support his hypocrisy and his homophobia. Bring signs, t-shirts, and banners. The more people that show up to physically give support, the stronger our message. Stop the intolerance. "Live through Love"
      Below is the address for the location.

      5800 Weiss Street Saginaw Charter Township, MI 48603

    3. Reached 5,000 signatures
    4. Bishop Cistone named in child sex abuse cover-up case in Philadelphia

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      attached is a link to the story. How on earth is this man allowed to represent the church at all? Much less make statements about morality... Apparently being openly gay is a worse sin, to the bishop, than molesting children these days. Sickening.

    5. Message from the Diocese of Saginaw and Bishop Cistone

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      The attached link to the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw letter regarding the keynote address at SHA, serves only to illustrate further the level of their hypocrisy and discrimination. The statements made regarding tolerance toward homsexuality :“The Catholic Church is very clear in her teaching, that men and women who have homosexual tendencies must be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” Was followed immediately by a determination that those homosexuals who do NOT lead a celibate lifestyle ARE in fact fit to be discriminated against. The position taken by the Bishop that those “who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles… should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

      This statement expresses a level of hypocrisy and continued intolerance that is unacceptable.
      Continue the call for ACTUAL tolerance and respect on the part of the church.

    6. Live through Love, continue to seek CHANGE

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      This morning Denny Starnes, principal of Sacred Heart Academy, addressed the students and community at large. His statements were broadcast online, and many watchers hoped that the school would be announcing Dominic's return as speaker in the upcoming classes graduation. However, this announcement did not come. Instead, principal Starnes emotionally spoke of the difference between his, and the student population's, views and those of Bishop Cistone and the church at large. His brave support of the students may very well end up costing him his job, and this too must be used to fuel the change we are seeking.

      I believe that with continued effort, the bishop, the diocese, and the church at large will see that they have made a mistake. We must continue to live through love, and work for change. We WILL see Dominic speak at graduation, and we must stay focused on the Bishop until he rights this wrong.

      attached is a link to photos from the speech today

    7. Reached 4,000 signatures
    8. LIVE announcement coming from SHA

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      click the link to go to the morning sun website and watch the school's response

    9. SHA's principal addresses the students

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      Denny Starnes, principal of Sacred Heart Academy addressed the senior class today. According to the students, he took the time to apologize for his mistake in cancelling Dominic as the keynote speaker at commencement, and ensured them that he would do whatever it takes, even putting his job on the line, in order to fix the situation. He also said that he was initially acting in a way that he thought was best for the school and most in line with church practices, but now has realized that his actions were wrong. The decision, according to Starnes, is now entirely in the Bishop’s hands. The students claimed he made statements in support of gay rights and of our protest of intolerance. They have said that they are grateful for the courage exhibited by their principal in admitting his mistake and working to make a change.
      Now we must turn our attention on Bishop Joseph Cistone and ask him also to change his mind and apologize for his homophobic and intolerant behavior.

    10. Reached 3,000 signatures
    11. Let Dominic Speak!

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      A video from the seniors at Sacred Heart, including Dominic's brother.

    12. Reached 2,500 signatures
    13. SILENT PROTEST friday May 4

      kelsey  miller
      Petition Organizer

      Let's surround the school, friday May 4, starting at 8am and continuing until school lets out around 3pm. Completely silent protest in honor of Dominic Sheahan-Stahl not being able to give his speech. Let the school know that the world does not support homophobia. Bring signs, t-shirts, and banners. The more people that show up to physically show support, the stronger our message. See you there!

    14. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Alex Gonzales MOUNT PLEASANT, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      Although I strongly oppose Sacred Heart's decision, I don't believe that the school is endorsing homophobia, just that it is apparently condemned in our religion. As for the issue that has been presented to the catholic faith, there are many young catholics, like myself, who are questioning the reasoning behind these segregating acts and acting upon them.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • christopher oporto COLTON, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      HE HAS EVERY RIGHT TO SPEAK.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Erica Marsden MOUNT PLEASANT, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      Equal rights for EVERYONE!!!!! We live now in 2012, whether you are homosexual or not is not really anyone's business and certainly should not prevent someone for giving a speech. Teach unconditional love and acceptance for all beings (human and non) and stop perpetuating judgement and the absence of love, which is fear and ignorance, resulting in hatred!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • MV Raposo NY, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      I am signing because I am against hatred and discrimination. I believe in equal rights for all.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Coenie Kukkuk PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
      • over 2 years ago

      Equal rights for all. Shame on that Church - again.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.