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O’Grady Commencement Address Canceled At Catholic High School
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Franklin County Commissioner John Oâ€™Grady says his invitation to deliver the commencement address at a Columbus Catholic high school was canceled only a few days before the event. Oâ€™Grady says the cancellation was made because he supports same-sex marriage.
Commissioner Oâ€™Grady says he was looking forward to addressing this yearâ€™s graduating class at Bishop Ready High School, the school where he graduated in 1982.
â€œI was absolutely looking forward to it so I was pretty sad about it but you know, itâ€™s a tough time right now. Thereâ€™s a lot of things going on and a lot of things happening in the church so, you know, it is what it is,â€ Oâ€™Grady says.
Oâ€™Grady says his invitation to speak was rescinded because he co-chairs the Freedom to Marry initiative. That initiative seeks to abolish Ohioâ€™s ban on same-sex marriage. Oâ€™Grady has been a life-long Catholic, but the right for gay people to marry, Oâ€™Grady says, is a firmly held personal belief.
â€œYou know Iâ€™ve been catholic for 49 years. And the institution is important to me and to a lot of people. But I believe what I believe. Itâ€™s a social justice issue for me,â€ Oâ€™Grady says.
This is the third time recently that employees or members of the church have come in direct public conflict with church teachings. In March, longtime Watterson High School health teacher Carla Hale was fired after her â€œquasi-spousalâ€ relationship with another woman was published in her motherâ€™s obituary. Last week in Cincinnati, a jury awarded former catholic school teacher Christa Dias more than $170,000 after the archdiocese of Cincinnati fired her for becoming pregnant by artificial insemination. Meanwhile Commissioner Oâ€™Grady is looking ahead.
â€œI would have loved to have delivered the speech but weâ€™ll move on and hopefully there will be some healing coming in the future,â€ Oâ€™Grady says.
A call by WOSU to Bishop Readyâ€™s principal seeking comment was not immediately returned.