By Francis David T. Perez
A Catholic girls’ school in Iloilo has defended its decision to make “immorality,” including homosexual acts, a basis for a expulsion, after drawing criticism on social media including from alumnae.
In a statement, Assumption Iloilo clarified that it had revised student policies to sanction all sexual misconduct, and that its definition of immorality pertained to “acts,” not the “condition or orientation of a person.”
It said it had no intention to “discriminate against homosexuals,” quoting the Catholic catechism, which states that the homosexual condition must be accepted with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” and that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
Assumption Iloilo said that as a Catholic school, it was within its rights to “adopt a definition of what constitutes immorality in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
“[Its] objective is to provide an educational program and environment animated by Catholic religious belief …,” said the school, established by the Assumption sisters in 1910.
“Immorality,” the school said, includes fornication, pornography, prostitution, engaging in premarital sexual relations, rape, homosexuality, adultery, incest, sexual abuse, “free union,” “trial marriages,” “live-in arrangement” and unions outside marriage.
Assumption Iloilo’s updated school guidelines triggered reactions from netizens online when a local publication reported about it.
Other social media users denounced the school policy.
Education is a human right regardless of a student’s SOGIE.
TASHA Movement believes in SOGIE Equality and Freedom. Hence, we condemn the act of inequality and injustice placed upon the LGBTQ+ community in Assumption Iloilo.
— TASHA Movement (@TASHA_MVMT) August 8, 2020
Bongga to! Sharing Assumption College Iloilo’s high school batch 2018’s statement asking the school to omit homosexuality as a ground for expulsion in the Learner’s Handbook & replace it w/ a progressive version based on the school’s teachings abt love & acceptance.😍#ACTBetterAC pic.twitter.com/rVQuNDBK8C
— Naomi Fontanos (@NaomiFontanos) August 8, 2020