An agreement has been reached regarding the presentation of the Matthew Shepard Scholarship to a gay Iowa teen at his Catholic high school’s graduation and awards ceremony.
Administrators at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Clinton had at one point declined to allow the scholarship’s sponsor to present it to senior Keaton Fuller at the May 20 ceremony. The Roman Catholic diocese of Davenport, which includes Clinton, had objected to the fact that the sponsor, the Eychaner Foundation of Des Moines, advocates for marriage equality. The diocese has a policy of not allowing guest speakers who disagree with Catholic teaching and therefore did not want to let a foundation representative present the award.
Under the agreement, the diocesan superintendent of schools will read a script prepared by the foundation, and a member of the foundation’s scholarship committee will present a trophy in the form of an eagle statue to Fuller. The scholarship, named for the gay University of Wyoming student murdered in 1998, is granted to high-achieving LGBT students. Fuller will receive $40,000 toward his schooling at the University of Iowa. Read a message from Fuller here.