By: Keith Klein (Photo: Catholic News Agency)
Transgender students may be barred from attending Catholic schools in central and southern Indiana, according to a new policy from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Archbishop Charles C. Thompson directed schools to work with transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students to “pastorally address their needs in alignment with the church’s teachings to navigate the difficult issues related to sexual identity… and living in accordance with church values.” The directive continues: “Any student whose gender has been legally changed from their biological sex, or who has chemically and/or surgically altered their given biology, may not be eligible for enrollment.” The document also says that parents who enroll their children in a Catholic school must understand, affirm, and support the archdiocese mission and policies. The archdiocesan schools participate in the state’s voucher program, which uses public dollars to fund scholarships to private schools. Democratic lawmakers have introduced several bills to prevent discrimination against students, staff, and teachers in voucher schools, but none have passed.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is meeting today to determine whether some utility companies can increase costs due to the pandemic. It is also considering a Duke Energy rate increase requested a year ago. The deadline to respond to Duke’s request is July 1. For those who are late paying for their energy bills, power shutoffs could start after June 30. That is unless the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission decides to extend the moratorium, today. “We are certainly optimistic that the commission will indeed extend that disconnection moratorium,” said Citizens Action Coalition Executive Director Kerwin Olson. The group wants the IURC to deny any rate increases due to the pandemic as well as a Duke Energy rate increase requested last year. It will add about $23 to each bill.