DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     June 3, 1999     vol. 10, no. 107

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue,
go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

MAINE REVIEWS GROUP HOME FOR BAN ON SEX, PORNOGRAPHY AND COURT SAYS MAINE CAN EXCLUDE PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS IN SCHOOL CHOICE

          LEWISTON, Maine (CWNews.com) - Maine's Department of Human Services has said it plans to revoke the license of group home for mentally-retarded adults because the Catholic woman who runs it forbids pornography or sexual activity.

          Monique Dostie said she is adamant about trying to keep "perversion" out of the home. "I teach them that it's wrong, that they don't need that to survive," she said. "I teach them their faith and bring God into their lives." But state regulations say people with mental retardation and autism in group homes have a right to participate in activities of choice, which include using pornographic material and sexual acts.

          None of the three residents at Dostie's Jaricot Foster Home have complained, and, in fact, their guardians chose the home because of its policies. Joni Fritz, executive director of the American Network of Community Options and Resources, which represents group homes, said Dostie's policy could lead to an increase in deviate behavior as her residents seek ways to increase gratification.

          James Bendell, who is representing Dostie on behalf of the American Catholic Lawyers Association, says the state believes every group home must be the same, and makes no exceptions, creating a "cookie cutter" group home that might not be in the best interest of all residents. Dostie said her residents could be placed in another home. "But they don't want to," she said. "They're not the ones asking for sex or pornography. It's the state that's mandating it."

          In a related story out of Maine, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said the state is not obligated to pay student's tuition to parochial schools if it pays for students with similar situations to attend non-religious private schools.

          Maine law allows families in towns without public secondary schools to send their children to any public or nonsectarian private school with the state paying at least part of the tuition, but had excluded religious schools from the program. The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston agreed with a lower judge's ruling that the state is not constitutionally required to extend these subsidies to religious schools.

          Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice that is representing the plaintiffs, said the appeals court ruling creates a conflict with a Supreme Court decision to let stand a Wisconsin voucher program that provides financial help for families whose children attend religious schools.

          The plaintiffs had argued the Maine law's exclusion of otherwise eligible parochial schools from the state tuition program violated the constitution by demonstrating hostility toward religion. Sekulow promised to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 3, 1999       volume 10, no. 107
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

|    Back to Graphics Front Page     Back to Text Only Front Page     |    Archives     |    What the DAILY CATHOLIC offers     |    DAILY CATHOLIC Ship Logs    |    Ports o' Call LINKS     |    Catholic Webrings    |    Catholic & World News Ticker Headlines     |    Why we NEED YOUR HELP     |    Why the DAILY CATHOLIC is FREE     |    Our Mission     |    Who we are    |    Books offered     |    Permissions     |    Top 100 Catholics of the Century    |    Enter Porthole HomePort Page    |    Port of Entry Home Page |    E-Mail Us